paisley-pirates

ABERDEEN LYNX 2 PAISLEY PIRATES 5

Pirates travelled north to the Lynx Arena and recorded a notable win as they put the home side to the sword, securing an excellent victory in front of a capacity crowd.

paisley-pirates

The visitors were obliged to play off early penalties but in fact it was during one of those periods of play, with Thorp sitting out a Holding call, that they broke with Abercrombie assisting Walker to score the opening goal while they were at a numerical disadvantage. While that goal proved to be the only one of the period, Pirates did in fact keep Lynx netminder Chalmers busy throughout the session, while Russell in the visiting net had little to do by comparison, and thus the visitors headed to the changing rooms holding a narrow 1-0 advantage at the break.

Aberdeen were penalised within a minute of the restart and found themselves two behind as Pirates made full use of the powerplay to double their lead, Walker netting his second of the game. The hosts saw a little more of the puck than they had done in the first session and pulled a goal back in the 29th minute through Durkacz, but Walker restored his side’s two goal lead with 5 minutes of the session remaining with an unassisted goal, making it a straight hat trick for the Pirates’ player/coach. With no further scoring, the buzzer sounded for the end of the session with the visitors holding a handy 3-1 advantage.

Pirates continued to have the bulk of play in the final session but they were shocked when Lynx reduced the deficit to one through Thomson in the 46th minute. The home side’s joy was short lived, however, as within two minutes they were penalised and Pirates scored immediately through Henderson to lead 4-2. Any remaining doubts about the destiny of the two league points were doused in the final five minutes, with the visitors on the powerplay again, as Walker netted his own fourth, and his team’s fifth, to silence the home fans and send the visiting supporters homeward with smiles on their faces.

Pirates Player/Coach, Adam Walker, commented after the game, “I thought we played a really solid road game last night. It’s always difficult to get the two points in Aberdeen but to heavily outshoot them and keep them to the outside for most of the game is a credit to our team. Everyone played their part and kept disciplined and that made. the difference.”

Pirates return to home ice this Saturday after a 3 week absence to face Solway Stingrays (face off 6.30pm)


 

PAISLEY PIRATES-PREVIEW

 

Paisley Pirates are back in action at Braehead Arena this Saturday as they welcome the Solway Stingrays to the venue for what will be their first home fixture in the Scottish National League for a few weeks. The club has recorded two excellent wins on the road over the last fortnight and will be looking to keep that good form going on home ice, particularly after beating Aberdeen 5-2 at a venue which has been somewhat problematic in recent years.

Head Coach Ian Turley commented, “It was very good collective performance from everyone. The team’s attitude and approach to the game was excellent and all the boys contributed to the win whether they played a lot of minutes or not.”

Pirates hope to continue their run in front of a big crowd on Saturday, as they look to cement a place in the top four ahead of playoff season, which commences in a few weeks’ time, and which would see them gain one of the seeded places, while looking to see the return of a few players who have been missing for various reasons in recent weeks as they head into the latter stages of the season.

Face off against the Stingrays is at 6.30pm.

paisley-pirates

(AGG 12-12-Comets win on penalties)

 

Pirates and Comets served up an epic SEVENTEEN goal thriller, which saw the home side edge through on the night-but the home side suffered the heartbreak of going out of the Scottish Cup to the holders on penalty shots, after the teams finished level over the two legs.

paisley-pirates

The visitors were first to score through McNicoll after only a minute to put them two ahead on aggregate after their 4-3 first leg win last week, but Pirates found their feet quickly as first Walker, linking up with Divok, and then Andreucci, put the hosts ahead on the night with just after five minutes played. Chances continued to go abegging at both ends and Comets were level after 15 minutes as Edmonds beat Russell to tie it up at 2-2. The scoring for the session wasn’t finished, however, and with Pirates on the powerplay they took advantage of the extra player to net through Dobson with two minutes remaining in the period to make it 3-2 at the break.

The glut of scoring was actually stepped up in the middle session as with Pirates again on the powerplay they netted their fourth through Walker inside four minutes of the restart, going nap two minutes later through Henderson, but McLuskey was quick to pull the visitors back into it with a goal before the halfway point for 5-3. Pirates hit a purple patch soon after, netting three times through Guy, Divok and Walker, the latter netting his hat trick, to go to 8-3, but Comets refused to lie down and netted two powerplay goals through Edmonds and McLuskey in the space of 50 seconds to make it 8-5 on the night, Pirates two ahead on aggregate. With time in the period running out, and with players and spectators alike trying to catch their collective breath, Walker stepped in for his fourth goal of the night and send the teams to the dressing rooms with Pirates an unlikely 9-5 ahead, and 12-9 on aggregate.

With the home side looking good with a three goal aggregate cushion they seemed content to hold what they had in the final session, and Comets had most of the play without putting Russell under great pressure in the early part of the period. However, with less than six minutes remaining, the roof fell in on the home side as while on the powerplay they were caught on the hop as McLuskey broke and sent in a shot which appeared to squeeze beneath Russell, and the aggregate lead was down to two. Worse was to follow, as Dundee repeated the shorthanded move two minutes later and this time it was Dolan squeezing the puck past Russell to cut the lead to two on the night and one on aggregate. Nerves clearly showing on the ice and in the stands and Comets continued to have the momentum, and there were under 90 seconds remaining when McGiffen tied the aggregate scoreb at 12-12 to take the game into penalty shots.

Dundee scored with their first penalty, while Walker’s shot for Pirates was parried by Michie to put his side ahead. Edmunds put the visitors ahead at 2-0 in the shoot out, but Divok pulled it back to 2-1. Russell knocked away Dolan’s third penalty, but with Henderson needing to score for the home side to take it into sudden death, his shot was saved by Michie and Pirates were out in a game where they had comfortable advantages at several junctures on the night, but just couldn’t put the Comets away.

Player/coach Adam Walker admitted to being “bitterly disappointed” after the game. He said, “We did enough to win the tie but we didn’t close it out. We will take a lot from the game and while we’re happy to score nine goals we can’t expect to go far when we concede eight.”

Pirates now face another tough home game on Saturday when they go head to head with unbeaten Murrayfield Racers at Braehead Braehead (face off 6.30pm).

PAISLEY PIRATES-PREVIEW

 

Paisley Pirates face another in a series of tough tests this coming Saturday at Braehead Arena as they take on the high flying Murrayfield Racers who are so far unbeaten in the Scottish National League, but it’s a challenge which Head Coach Ian Turley is looking forward to.

“We’re coming off the back of a disappointing cup tie against Dundee Comets where we won the home leg but lost the tie on penalty shots,” he said. “Maybe it was a little lack of experience which we lacked, but we’ve had three very tight games in recent weeks, two against the Comets, and one against the Racers a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve shown we can compete with these teams. We scored 9 goals against the Comets which suggests that offensively we’re ok, but I’m expecting another tough game against the Racers. It was a 4-3 loss to them when we played them in Edinburgh in what was a good game in front of a good crowd so we’re hoping that the Racers’ fans will maybe travel in numbers to see what should be another good advert for the SNL. If you compare where we were at the start of the season to where we are now the difference on our play is a significant one and it’s showing in our performances.”

“If we stick to what we need to do for the entire 60 minutes I believe we will be ok and I’m certainly expecting fans to get full value for their admission fee as they did last weekend.

Murrayfield have a top line up featuring a number of players with Elite League experience, such as one time Edinburgh Capitals [layer/coach Martin Cingel, and it’s sure to be another cracker in a match which faces off on SATURDAY at 6.30pm.

paisley-pirates

Paisley Pirates take a break from league action this weekend, but the task facing them could
hardly be more difficult, as they travel to Dundee this Sunday to take on the local Comets in
the first round (first leg) of the Scottish Cup, a competition which has seen the two clubs
meet in the final in the past two seasons, the Tayside club coming out as victors on both
occasions.

paisley-pirates
Pirates lost narrowly by four goals to three against highly fancied Murrayfield Racers last
Sunday in Edinburgh, and will need to put in a similar level of performance if they hope to
overcome a Comets side who beat them heavily in the league at Braehead Arena earlier in
the season, their only home reverse to date.
Head Coach Ian Turley commented, “We enter different territory this weekend with Scottish
Cup action to look forward to, and with the tie being over two legs a lot can happen during
the six periods which will be played. I guess this tie is a bit special in that both teams have
met in the final in the past two seasons, but only one team can make it through this time
around.”
The tie will take place at Dundee Ice Arena, facing off at 7.30pm, whole the second leg will
go ahead at Braehead Arena the following Sunday, 20 January, with a 5.00pm start, and
Pirates will be looking to bring the tie back to Renfrewshire with everything still to play for.

 

MURRAYFIELD RACERS 4 PAISLEY PIRATES 3

Pirates travelled to Edinburgh missing several key players but nevertheless contributed fully
to a thriller, before eventually going down by the odd goal in seven to a Racers side laden
with players with Elite League experience..
The home side got off to the better start and were a goal ahead before the five minute mark
as Gautschi netted short handed. Pirates recovered from this setback and were level after
their next powerplay opportunity two minutes later as Abercrombie combined with Guy to
beat McGill and score against his former side. With chances coming up at both ends it was
the hosts who went ahead after thirteen minutes and it was Gautschi again, with his second
goal of the night, who beat Russell to put Racers ahead on the powerplay. With no further
scoring in the session the sides headed for the dressing rooms with Murrayfield holding a
narrow 2-1 advantage after a tight 20 minutes.
Play continued as before in the middle period and while Racers had the early pressure, it
was in fact Pirates who equalised in the 26 th minute with an unassisted goal from Mikey
Dobson. This time Racers came back strongly and took the lead for the third time four
minutes later through Boyd. Once again, both sides had opportunities to alter the scoreline,
but with the respective goals remining intact, Racers hung on to their narrow one goal
advantage to lead at 3-2.
Pirates came out for the final session looking for a third equaliser and they got it with less
than two minutes on the clock, as Abercrombie combined with Guy once more for the former
Racer to net his second of the night and tie the scores at 3-3. The game continued to ebb
and flow at both ends of the ice, but just before the halfway point in the period it was that
man Gautschi who completed his hat trick with what proved to be the game winning goal,
breaking the hearts of the visitors who had put in a sterling performance, only to come away
with nothing at the end of the day.

Pirates will be pleased with their gutsy performance, if not the final outcome, and will be
looking to carry that form into this Saturday’s Scottish Cup first round, first leg tie away to
Dundee Comets in a repeat of last year’s final. The match faces off at 7.30pm, with the
second leg taking place at Braehead Arena on Sunday, 20 January (face off 5.00pm).

paisley-pirates

Paisley Pirates rounded off the first half of their season with a tense 4-2 win in their final game before the Christmas break.

They got off to the best possible start in the second minute when, on the powerplay, defender Euan McLaughlin broke forward to take a pass from Ryan Sarginson and fired an unstoppable shot past Beveridge in the visitors’ goal to give his side the lead. It got even better for the home team as just over a minute later, Henderson latched on to the puck, assisted by Divok, to double their lead and give the hosts a handy advantage.

paisley-pirates

Wild came more into the game after their early double shock and, while they had more of the play, they were reliant on Beveridge to keep them in the game and he did so with a string of fine saves. Pirates did have the puck in the net after 17 minutes, but the “goal” was wiped out as there was an attacker in Beveridge’s area.

The visitors came out firing in the second session and were back in the game within 70 seconds. They took advantage of a powerplay opportunity through ex-Pirate Scott Cowan who scored a wraparound goal to pull the deficit back to one, and for the next few minutes a tension crept into the game before Walker fired a top shelf effort beyond Beveridge to restore the two goal advantage at 3-1. However, with Wild again on the powerplay within seconds it was that man Cowan once more who pulled the score back to a one goal difference, and the Wild player/coach wasn’t slow to show his delight at netting a second marker. The match was now ebbing and flowing at either end and within four minutes Henderson had scored his own second, and his team’s fourth goal, to stretch the scoreline to 4-2, and with no further scoring in the session Pirates saw out the period in somewhat nervy fashion.

While Pirates had the best of the openings in the final session, they just couldn’t put the Wild away, in spite of having several gilt edged chances to score the killer fifth goal, and the visitors came close on several occasions to pulling the scoreline back once again, with the tension mounting as the period progressed. With the match proceeding into the final ten minutes, Pirates fell foul of referee Emerson on three occasions, and they had to withstand periods of sustained pressure as they defended powerplays, the last one being almost a minute of playing off a five on three disadvantage, with the home fans holding their collective breath as play edged towards the final buzzer, a sound which was greeted with some relief.

Head Coach Ian Turley said after the game, “ Despite having a number of players unavailable through injury and illness I thought we started really well. I felt it was a game we were always in control of and we really should have been more clinical in front of the net as we created a number of high scoring chances but couldn’t execute them. Overall we are happy with the two points and have set ourselves up going into January when we will face quality opposition in the Racers.”

Pirates now have a two week festive break before their next match, a trip to Edinburgh to take on Murrayfield Racers on Sunday 6 January.

paisley pirates

PAISLEY PIRATES  6 KIRKCALDY KESTRELS  2

A dream debut, inspirational net minding, and a scorching team performance in the second period were the main features in a match which saw Pirates bring down the Kestrels.

The visitors had the better of the opening session but found John Russell in the home goal in spectacular form as he repeatedly turned away goal bound efforts and kept his side in the game when, if they weren’t out of it, they were certainly playing second fiddle to a fast breaking Kestrels side, who eventually took the lead in the 16th minute when Flood finally produced a shot to beat the netminder. With the clock running down, it looked like they would go into the break with a narrow advantage, but with Pirates shorthanded in the last 30 seconds their netminder Jackson could only direct a clearance towards an opponent and the puck was quickly transferred to debutant Abercrombie who flicked home and give his new side a slightly fortuitous equalizer.

Russell was again the busier netminder in the opening stages of the middle session but in the space of 17 seconds, after 27 minutes, the game changed dramatically. Following a sortie round the Kestrels net, Pirates were awarded a penalty shot, and Abercrombie stepped up to coolly slot the puck beyond Jackson and put the home side in front, Straight from the face off, Pirates broke again through Thorp who wasted no time in smashing the puck home to give his side an unlikely 3-1 lead. The home side were inspired by the sudden change in fortunes and were now having the better of the exchanges, and another two goal burst in 25 seconds late in the period saw first Guy skating through to beat Simpson, who had by this time replaced Jackson in the visitors’ net, and then Forbes set up Abercrombie to score his hat trick goal with ease, and send Pirates to the dressing rooms with a 5-1 lead, a scoreline which no one would have predicted at the start of the session.

In the final session, the visitors were looking for a quick goal to give them a flicker of hope, and they got it after 43 minutes when Robertson scored with a shorthanded effort for 5-2. Chances continued to appear at both ends of the ice, but it took until six minutes from time for the final goal of the night to arrive, as Spiers broke from his own zone to skate to the other end and Abercrombie was waiting for the defender’s inch perfect pass to net his own fourth, and his team’s sixth, to put the final touch on a very satisfying evening for the home side.

Pirates will be delighted to have beaten a close rival by such a convincing scoreline and now await the visit of local rivals North Ayrshire Wild this SATURDAY to Braehead Arena in a match which faces off at 6.30pm

 

PIRATES IN CHRISTMAS CRACKER

Fresh from their enthralling 6-2 win over Kirkcaldy Kestrels last Sunday night, Paisley Pirates are already preparing for another Christmas cracker as they play host to local rivals North Ayrshire Wild this SATURDAY at Braehead Arena in a match which faces off at 6.30pm.

paisley pirates

Photo features (back row) Lanarkshire Lightning Head Coach Martyn King, Paisley Pirates Head Coach Ian Turley, Lanarkshire Lightning Coach Colin McMillan.
(Front row) Max King and Harris McMillan
Photo acknowledgement to Duncan Speirs

Pirates have already faced the Wild three times this season, securing two draws and a narrow 2-0 win, and they anticipate another close encounter of the icy kind this coming Saturday, in their final match before the festive break.

Pirates have their confidence boosted by the form they showed in defeating their east coast opponents last weekend, but know they will have to be on top of their game to defeat the Wild, who have already shown they have a sting in their tail as they scored twice in the last minute in one of the draws fought out this season.

Off Ice Operation Manager Jackie Turley said, “It was a cracking match last Sunday and the support from the crowd, and the atmosphere generated, certainly helped make it a great night. We’re hoping we can get a large crowd creating a similar noise level against the Wild, who will no doubt be bringing some of their own supporters with them, so we’re hoping to send our fans home with a smile on their faces for Christmas. We’ll be more than happy to welcome in Christmas shoppers, complete with presents, to support their local ice hockey team.”

PIRATES AND LIGHTNING JOIN FORCES

Paisley Pirates and Lanarkshire Lightning Ice Hockey Clubs have joined forces in a move which will see young players have the opportunity to progress from rank beginners, through to a pathway which will eventually give them the chance of playing for the Pirates at Scottish National League level, under the tutelage of Head Coaches Martyn King for Lightning, himself a former Paisley Pirate, and Ian Turley, for Pirates, who is also part of the coaching team got the Scotland Under-17 squad.

It is hoped that the formalised link between the two clubs will help develop young players who show themselves to have the skills and aptitude to progress and develop to a high standard, and spokespersons for both clubs expressed excitement at the opportunities which will open up to youngsters wishing to progress in their favourite sport.

Jim Paterson, Chair of Lanarkshire Lightning, commented, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our players. Not only have they already shown their ability to learn and develop as ice hockey players within this club, they will now get the opportunity to take their development on to an even higher level by having the chance to train and play with the Pirates, and hopefully some of them will go on to play for Paisley in the SNL when the time comes. In the few short years since the Lightning were formed we like to think that our youngsters have progressed at an astonishing rate due to the excellent opportunities and coaching that they’ve had the opportunity to experience so far, and our new link with the Pirates ensures that such progression will continue to an even higher level. It also maps out  a direct path for potential new members who perhaps see themselves playing at SNL or above in the years to come, regardless of the level at which they are at currently, and shows that by becoming a member of Lanarkshire Lightning they are likely to receive the very best of development opportunities all the way through to senior level.”

“Our club already has strong links with the Pirates through former players such as Martyn King, Colin McMillan and Robert Henderson being involved in our coaching team, and, indeed, their own kids are progressing through the ranks with us, so these new links only strengthen the strong ties we already have with them.”

Paisley Pirates Head Coach Ian Turley was equally excited about the new partnership. “We already have a good strong relationship with Lanarkshire Lightning, with the core pf their coaching staff having previously iced for the Pirates. This new relationship makes sense, as we don’t currently have a full junior set up and Lanarkshire Lightning don’t have a senior team. Hopefully this will be the start of providing a pathway for kids to develop into Pirates and beyond at senior level. We’re really looking forward to working with the Lightning coaches, to ensure that we’re always focusing on player development, which is our number one priority, and one which we believe is shared by the Lightning. Both clubs are committed to developing players of all ages in their respective catchment areas and beyond, to enable them to reach a high level of the sport in Scotland.”

Jackie Turley, Head of Off Ice Operations for the Paisley Pirates, commented, “The parents and kids of the Lightning have become a regular element of the Pirates’ activities through their attendance at games and the latter have been mascots for the club at SNL matches for a number of years now. It’s great to see a willingness by both clubs to take this relationship on to the next stage, as the building bricks have obviously been there for a while now, and this new development can only be good for both clubs and, particularly the junior players who now have a wonderful opportunity to progress through the ranks as far as their skill, aptitude and character can take them. We’re certainly delighted to have this chance of working even more closely with our good friends at the Lanarkshire Lightning club.”

 

paisley-pirates

PAISLEY PIRATES NEW SIGNING

 

Paisley Pirates have swooped into the transfer market to sign hit man Daniel Abercrombie, and the forward goes straight into the Pirates’ squad for their important home match against Kirkcaldy Kestrels this Sunday at Braehead Arena (face off 5.00pm). The 20 year old has played for both Solway and North Ayr in previous seasons, and most recently iced for Murrayfield Racers, where his goals helped propel the Edinburgh side towards the top of the Scottish National League.

paisley-pirates

“We’re delighted to be welcoming Daniel into the Pirates’ family”, said Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley. “It seemed he might be having a time out from the sport for a little while at least, but we managed to talk him round into coming to Braehead and we’re confident his sniper skills will make him a potent threat in front of goal. He’s already played alongside a couple of our guys with other teams so he already knows a few of the players on the bench and while we already carry a goal threat, his potency in front of goal will increase the potential for the squad to add to its goal scoring abilities.”

She added, “We very rarely sign players just to add numbers to the squad. We have to feel that any new additions coming in will improve what we’ve already got, so by signing Daniel it makes a statement, meaning that we rate him highly and, at only 20 years of age, we’ll see how good he is when he turns out in a Pirates’ jersey. In the short term, he’ll wear the number 16 sweater, and we can look forward to seeing him adding to the calibre of our squad.”

 

PAISLEY PIRATES-UPDATE

 

Paisley Pirates return to action this weekend with a intriguing fixture against Kirkcaldy Kestrels, the match facing off at Braehead Arena on Sunday at 5.00pm. In the reverse clash in Fife a few weeks ago, the teams drew 5-5 in a thrilling encounter, and Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley expects this weekend’s return to be no less exciting than it was first time around, when Pirates twice came from two goals behind to draw the match.

“We rarely have poor matches against the Kestrels, we seem to bring out the best in each other, which is very good news indeed for supporters of both clubs,” she said. “ We’re hoping for a big-pre Christmas crowd to turn out and cheer us on as we go head to head with Kirkcaldy. We know that they enjoy beating us as much as we like putting one over on them, so whatever the score, the fans are certain to be winners. We only beat them by the narrowest of margins towards the end of last season when we absolutely had to win to keep our league challenge going, and that was only in the last session of play, so there’s every reason to think that this year’s home game against them is going to be just as much a nail-biter. Back in the days when the Pirates played the Fife Flyers at the Lagoon, the game was always one of the ones most eagerly awaited, and the feelings are still the same when we play the Kestrels.”

“Dundee Comets lost for the fist time two weekends ago so the teams at the top end of the league are now very much bunched up, with ourselves and the Kestrels in that group, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that every match carries a lot of significance. It’s as tight at the top end of the league as I can remember for a long time. which means that every single point gained is important.”

“We’ve got a number of local clubs and organisations taking advantage of our cut price deal on offer throughout the season, and a couple of others coming along next weekend, so we’re sure those groups will enjoy getting possibly their first experience of a night watching the Paisley Pirates in action, and make plenty of noise in support of Renfrewshire’s only senior ice hockey team.”

Paisley Pirates Shivering Timbers

PAISLEY PIRATES 6 – ABERDEEN LYNX 3

 

Pirates overcame a spirited performance by the visitors and, in the process, brought the latter’s unbeaten start in the league to an end.

Paisley Pirates Shivering Timbers

The home side were the quicker to settle and were ahead in the 4th minute as Wallace got on the end of a cross come shot from Sarginson to beat Chalmers and give his side a lead which they never lost. Both sides continued to push forward but it was Pirates who doubled their lead in the 9th minute as Dobson skated through and fired a beauty into the top of the net to put daylight between the teams. With no further scoring in the period, the teams headed for the dressing rooms at the first break with Pirates holding a handy 2-0 advantage.

The hosts got off to the best possible start in the middle session with a goal after only 29 seconds. Chalmers could only parry a rasping shot from Divok, and the puck fell perfectly for Thorp to nudge it over the line to give Pirates a three goal margin. Back came the visitors, however, and after a sustained spell of pressure they got their reward in 28 minutes through Malcolm. Pirates steadied the ship thereafter and restored their margin of three just after the halfway point, Walker merely flicking a long range effort which flew past Chalmers to nestle in the bottom corner. The same player was on hand after 35 minutes to net his second of the night, and with the buzzer sounding after 40 minutes Pirates were well in control at 5-1, a Hamilton shot which bounced off the underside of the bar and appearing to land behind the line being washed out by referee Emmerson.

In spite of their four goal advantage, Pirates had to be on their toes in the final session as Lynx continued to push forward towards Russell in the home goal, and after 45 minutes the visitors struck with Malcolm’s second goal of the night, followed by a third from former Pirate Andrew Murphy to tighten up the scoreline at 5-3. With four minutes to go, the accumulation of heavy challenges during the course of the game came to a head as Divok and Andreucci went head to head with the Durkacz brothers in two separate exchanges on the ice, Joe Durkacz eventually being flung out of the game with the other pugilists receiving minor penalties, which were enough to end their participation in the match.

The excitement wasn’t quite over for the evening, however, as with the clock running down in the final few seconds, Walker sent Henderson away and the forward skated through to beat Chalmers with one second remaining, putting a final gloss on the evening to give Pirates a 6-3 win.

Pirates have a weekend off and are next in action on Sunday 16 December when they play host to Kirkcaldy Kestrels.

—–

PAISLEY PIRATES-UPDATE

Paisley Pirates may have enjoyed a rare weekend off from on-ice action, but away from the usual weekend excitement the club has been just as busy as ever in the run up to the Christmas period.

“Yes, it was good that the players got a well-earned break from their usual routine,” said Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley, “but the work of the club goes on, with plenty of effort going on behind the scenes which folk sometimes don’t see.”

“We’ve been continuing to take group bookings at a steady rate now that we’re in Christmas mode, with a take up rate which suggests people are getting the message that they can come with their group and see the Pirates for very little money either as a pre-Christmas treat, or even as something a little different to their usual programme of events ay any time during our season.”

“Certainly, we’ve been busier in terms of taking bookings for the game on 16 December against Kirkcaldy, and the local derby against North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday 22 December, but the group discount rate is in operation for ALL home games and clubs and groups shouldn’t hang around too long if they’re wanting to snap up a real bargain. We know money’s tight everywhere right now so this is a chance for us to give back to the community which supports us the whole year round.”

“We’re also looking for individuals who would like to supp’ort us via our Match Night Puck Sponsorship scheme, where again, for little money, fans can sponsor the match night puck, receive it with special engraving on it, and get their photo taken with both team captains before the match in question. We’ve got another such event coming up on 22 December, but there’s other dates available if there’s supporters looking for a souvenir with a difference, or wanting to give a young relative an extra special present.”

“As usual, we’ve loads of seasonal souvenirs at our shop, including special Paisley Pirates calendars which are disappearing faster than Santa Claus down a chimney, so we’d advise folk not to waste any time in getting their order in, and/or contact us at paisleypirates@gmail.com if they want to make a group booking.”

Paisley Pirates Supporters Club has also been very busy, arranging a collection of new toys in aid of the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal, which took place at the recent match against Aberdeen Lynx.

“We were well pleased with the response we got from our ever-generous supporters,” said Chairwoman Marie Cadenhead. “We were able to fill a number of trollies with brand spanking new toys donated by supporters, and we also took a very healthy sum in cash donations on the night. The money raised will go towards buying specialised gifts for children in need of them, while, thanks to the generosity of Paisley Pirates fans, an awful lot of kids will have a happier Christmas than might otherwise have been the case.”

paisley-pirates

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.

paisley-pirates

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.

Pirates Preview

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.”

Urbanism Award photo-resized for press

Paisley has been voted the best town in the UK & Ireland in recognition for its ‘outstanding’ efforts to transform its fortunes.

Urbanism Award photo-resized for press

It was crowned at the Academy of Urbanism awards ceremony in London, beating off competition from shortlisted Barnsley in Yorkshire and Chelmsford in Essex.

Paisley is the first Scottish place to win the the Great Town title since the inaugural awards in 2006.

Voted on by Academy members, five awards are given out annually, including for Europe’s best city, and places are judged against a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.

The Great Town award recognises the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments across the UK, Ireland and Europe, and this year focused on places that have been through transformation.

The judges ruled that although Paisley, which was one of five places shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021, didn’t win that title, the process of developing their bid ‘won over the people of Paisley and in turn permanently changed the narrative of the place and direction of travel.’

As part of the judging process, assessors visited Paisley in August and lead assessor, Michele Grant commended Paisley for using heritage and culture to change the narrative of the town.

She said: “Renfrewshire Council’s UK City of Culture bid is an outstanding example of how to shape a collective vision and build community confidence that delivers in the long term. The bid and its preparation has transformed the way local people and external organisations and individuals think and speak about the town.”

Renfrewshire Council’s investment in social housing was also praised as ‘impressive’, as was the ‘deep and meaningful working between the Council and communities’.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are delighted that Paisley has been awarded the Great Town title – something that couldn’t have happened without the tremendous support from all sections of the community.

“The bidding process for UK City of Culture 2021 kickstarted the process to transform our place, which is very much continuing with our plans to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage assets to make it a key destination for visitors and events.

“Work to revitalise our town centre and economy is already underway, with a £110 million investment in the town centre and our venues, and £276 million of major infrastructure projects taking place in Renfrewshire as part of the Glasgow Region City Deal over the next decade.

“We are also reinventing our textile heritage for the 21st century and launched a new destination brand, paisley.is earlier this year.”

David Rudlin, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism, said: “Home of the Paisley pattern – a town that has recovered from industrial decline by concentrating on the basics, good, affordable housing and a strong town centre.

“It may not have been successful in being nominated as UK City of Culture 2021 but the bidding process has been incredibly positive as a catalyst for change.”

Sharon McAulay from the town’s Star Project said: “One year on from our City of Culture bid, it’s a timely reminder that Paisley is a vibrant and beautiful cultural destination and is being recognised as such from far afield.

“This award belongs to the people of Paisley whose collective positivity and boundless energy have made this possible.”

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, said: “This award is further recognition of the meaningful work being undertaken in the town by the council and all of its partners – work which has developed with the support of the people of Paisley and is essential for the prosperity of our local businesses, higher education sector and cultural community.”

paisley-pirates

Pirates got their league campaign off to the best possible start with a comfortable win in Ayrshire. Both teams had their warm up period interrupted by a fire alarm, which saw them standing outside the ice rink in full kit, but it was the home team for whom the bells tolled as they found themselves FOUR goals down with under half the opening period played.

paisley-pirates

The visitors were ahead with less than two minutes on the clock through Guy, and went two in front within minutes as Wilson netted his first goal for the club. A quick fire double within half a minute through Huber and Divok had Pirates four ahead by the 9th minute, and while the free scoring slowed down a little they still had time to net a fifth, through Henderson, to have the points in the bag by the first buzzer, holding a comfortable lead at 5-0.

The home side did come into the game a little more at the beginning of the second period and managed to pull a goal back after 26 minutes through McCormack, but Anderson in the home goal continued to be the busier netminder by far and he was beaten twice more, first by Henderson for his second goal of the night, then skipper Chris Turley, to take the scoreline to 7-1 after 40 minutes.

Pirates took the score to 8-1 within five minutes of the restart through Sarginson, and while Thunder did manage another consolation score through Murdoch, it was the visitors who finished off the scoring through Turley’s second goal of the night with 5 minutes remaining, to round off a satisfactory start to their league programme.

 

Paisley Pirates   5 Dundee Tigers   2

 

Pirates won their second match in 24 hours comfortably enough without ever finding top gear, as they saw off a plucky Dundee Tigers outfit to make it a four point weekend.

The home side were first on the board in the 6th minute as Divok converted a pass from Henderson, but they were surprised a minute later as Reekie equalised on the powerplay. Henderson turned goal scorer before the halfway point in the period, but with a lethargic looking Pirates side failing to pass accurately they were unable to advance their lead, going in at the first interval with a narrow 2-1 advantage.

Pirates were looking to increase their lead and put the game to bed, but their passes continued to go astray until they briefly raised their game around the middle of the period and scored three times in six minutes through Henderson, notching his second, a rare goal from Crawford with a neat backhander, and a bullet from Divok which also doubled his tally for the night. Tigers refused to give up, however, and a minute later Pliskov netted their second to give the score a slightly closer appearance at 5-2 after 40 minutes.

In the final session, Pirates continued to push forward but could not re-establish the free flowing movement which they’d managed briefly in the middle session, thus recording a satisfactory, but unspectacular, 5-2 win over the visitors.

They will be looking to raise their game next week when they face their toughest challenge of the season so far, as treble winners Dundee Comets are the visitors to Braehead Arena on Remembrance Sunday (face off 5.00pm)

Remembrance Sunday:

We’ll be admitting free of charge any members of the Armed Forces who come in uniform or produce a valid ID card tp see Pirates v Dundee Comets.

PAISLEY PIRATES-GAME PREVIEW

Paisley Pirates face what is probably their toughest challenge of the season so far as they play host to treble winners Dundee Comets in a mouth-watering league match this Sunday at Braehead Arena. The visitors complete a clean sweep of domestic honours last year, winning the Scottish Cup, the league playoffs, and the SNL title, the latter only by dint of having a better goal difference than the Pirates.

“It’s got all the potential to be another in a whole series of classics between the teams, enthused Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley. “Last year, it was a closely fought 3-3 draw here with some terrific entertainment for the fans, real edge of the seat stuff, while when we went to the Dundee Ice Arena it finished 6-6, with two goals in the last minute, so the game isn’t likely to let anyone down in terms of value for money. They’ve got a lot of fine players, but then, so do we, our goals have been spread throughout the team with no single player taking the headlines.”

She went on, “We’re expecting a larger crowd than usual, as this really is one of the fixtures you look out for every year, so our advice to folk is to get along early and make sure you catch every one of the sixty minutes-if you don’t, you’re likely to miss something!”

“It’s our last home game for a couple of weeks, so we’re advising supporters to get themselves along and catch some of the best ice hockey action they are likely to see anywhere, and have them wishing away the days until the Pirates are back in town again!”

Face off is at 5.00pm and doors open at 4.20pm.