Pirates were knocked out of the playoffs in the cruellest of fashions, drawing 2-2 with Aberdeen Lynx in regulation time before losing 2-1 on penalty shots, thus ending their dream of winning the SNL playoff weekend for the first time.
They got off to a slow start and were behind with just under three minutes on the clock as with Thorp sitting out an Elbows call, McIntosh was sent clear with the extra space and he wasted no time in burying the puck behind Meechan to put Lynx in front. Pirates retaliated immediately, but with Chalmers in excellent form for the team from the North they found it extremely difficult to create a scoring opportunity, the closest effort in the first period coming from D man McMillan who broke forward, only for his shot to rebound from the netminder’s post with the goalie, for once, beaten, and thus the teams went for the first break with Lynx ahead.
Pirates came out for the second session with renewed vigour and, with the benefit of misdemeanours by their opponents which gave them a number of powerplay opportunities in the period, allowed them at times to lay siege to the Aberdeen goal, where once again Chalmers was proving equal to the efforts of the Pirates’ players, as his team mates were only able to break forward occasionally.
However, just before the halfway point, and with Pirates again moving forward, the equailser finally came as Wilson took a pass from Turley to create space for himself before firing an unsaveable shot beyond the netminder to tie the scores on the powerplay. The Renfrewshire side continued to have by far the better of the exchanges, although Aberdeen did look dangerous on the breakaway, and with just over three minutes remaining in the session Wilson again broke down the left wing, and his shot appeared to deceive Chalmers as it hit the back staunchion before rebounding out to give his team a lead which, on the balance of play, was fully deserved, and perhaps the least that might have been expected over the 20 minutes.
Pirates were now looking for a third insurance marker to give themselves some breathing space, but instead they were caught cold with only seven seconds of the session remaining, and Dyer was left unmarked in front of the net to score with the simplest of opportunities to tie the scores at 2-2 on the powerplay and leave the Paisley side wondering how, having been in almost total control at times during the session, they were in fact going into the final period all square.
Into the final session, with a place in the final beckoning both sides, and chances went abegging at either end of the ice as both sides went for the place in the final. During the session Campbell went down after a hefty challenge, and as he was eventually helped from the ice it was clear that he would be unable to continue, with an injury which looks likely to rule him out of next weekend’s Scottish Cup Final. With only minutes remaining, Pirates gave up a powerplay advantage to their opponents, handing them the initiative, and while they played off the numerical disadvantage, their chance for a grandstand finish was lost, and thus the tie entered a 3 shot per side penalty shoot out.
Scott Cowan missed for Pirates, McIntosh converted for Lynx, and while Miller then tied the score again a Wilson miss, either side of a Carnegie miss and Johnson conversion, was enough to give the tie to Lynx, and leave Pirates ruing a host of near things……
Scorers: Wilson (2+0), Turley & Orr (both 0+1)