Pirates’ netminder John Russell achieved a 21 save shut out as he helped his club to a narrow, but crucial, win at North Ayr on Saturday. While the game was short in terms of goals, it was not without incident.
In a tight opening session, the visitors had the balance of play, but were unable to find a way past Beveridge in the home goal, while Russell was unbeatable at the opposite end of the rink, and this the first 20 minutes were completed without a goal on the scoreboard.
In the middle session, the home side had more of the play, but again found the visiting defence in miserly form, giving up very little with Russell again stopping anything which did get through. Pirates looked to be in trouble when Huber took a minor penalty for charging late in the period, but in fact they broke quickly while a player down and Divok scored a peach of a goal for his shorthanded side to give them a narrow 1-0 advantage going into the final session.
With the match still finely balance, the turning point came almost halfway through the final session as Wild’s player/coach Scott Cowan was thrown out for a heavy check on his opponent. He disagreed too vehemently with the official’s decision, receiving a match penalty on top of his original penalty. On the resultant extended player advantage given to Pirates, Henderson scored the critical second goal to clinch the points for the visitors, making it a good night for them, and setting them up nicely for the second leg of their weekend double header at Dundee the following evening.
Dundee Tigers 1 – Paisley Pirates 9
After two tight periods, Pirates blitzed the hosts with a devastating goal burst in the final session to remove any chance of an upset.
Pirates were out of the blocks quickly and were ahead in the 3rd minute through Huber. They continued to push forward and in the 7th minute they doubled their advantage through Divok. While continuing to outshoot their opponents they were unable to add to their tally and Reekie brought the hosts back into the game with a strike at the halfway point to make the score 2-1 to Pirates at the end of the first session.
The visitors continued to have the better of exchanges in the second period but were unable to beat Morris in the home goal in the early stages. However, in the 36th minute Henderson did manage to find the net to give Pirates a little more breathing space after 40 minutes, with the score at 3-1.
Pirates came out for the final period determined to put the game to bed and they did so in quite ruthless fashion, scoring no fewer than FOUR times in a two minute spell from the 42nd minute, with markers from Guy, Henderson with his second, Dobson and Thorp, to take the game well away from the Tigers at 7-1. Another quickfire double from Andreucci and Dobson with his second just after halfway took the score to 9-1, and Pirates could relax with the game well and truly over.
Paisley Pirates start December with a bang this Saturday when they play host to Aberdeen Lynx at Braehead Arena (face off 6.30pm).
“It’s always one of the matches which generates plenty of atmosphere,” said Off Ice Operations Manager, Jackie Turley. “Because it’s a Saturday, I think it’s easier for the Aberdeen fans to travel, and they come in numbers, so all credit to them, they really get behind their team, it’s just a pity more teams don’t follow their lead. Our fans are always quick to pick up the challenge, so there will be a fair bit of noise in the Arena come 6.30pm on Saturday.”
“It’s our first home match in a few weeks so I’m sure our own fans who can’t follow the team on the road will be looking forward to exercising their tonsils. We’ve had a decent run of form since the Comets beat us here, with two wins and a draw on the road, while Aberdeen have found a bit of form as well. The matches between the two sides are usually entertaining with a few goals and incidents thrown in for good measure, and I don’t see Saturday’s encounter being that much different.”
“Our Supporters Club are also getting behind the local Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal and it’s asking supporters of both teams either to make a cash donation at one of the collection points this Saturday, or bring along new toys (used ones can’t be accepted for health & safety reasons), socks, pyjamas and the like, to make Christmas a little bit special for kids and families for whom it could otherwise be a little bit bleak. It’s one of the times in the year when the club can give back to the local community and we’re really pleased to be able to make our own small contribution to all the good work which goes into helping others in the local area.”