KIRKCALDY KESTRELS will be sitting with their feet up this weekend, but they’ll be watching with great interest at the other teams battling it out between them.
They may be more interested in how Edinburgh Capitals, Paisley Pirates and North Ayrshire Wild get on this Sunday, but every team in the immediate vicinity will see the chance to close the gap.
So we’ll look ahead to what lies ahead for each team that takes to the ice this weekend as plenty more SNL points are up for grabs.
SNL: ABERDEEN LYNX vs DUNDEE COMETS
Saturday, 7.15pm, Lynx Ice Arena
ABERDEEN LYNX return home for the first time in 2016 as Dundee Comets ‘first foot’ them, but the previous meeting will still be fresh in the memory.
Comets romped to a 5-0 win on Tayside, leaving the travelling Lynx fans dejected in a fixture they had high hopes of winning in an ever tighter title race.
But it can be argued Dundee have the psychological edge heading into Saturday’s rematch in the North East and with league leaders Kestrels idle this weekend, see it as a chance to make up some ground.
Both teams head into the clash on similar form, having both won three of their last nine games and are locked on 13 points in the table.
However, Comets have two games in hand and victory will kill off Lynx’s slim title hopes for this season with only a handful of matches left.
Barry Carnegie’s side though have to arrest their most recent run of one win in their last four if they are to climb the table and aim for a high finish.
SNL: DUNDEE TIGERS vs MORAY TYPHOONS
Saturday, 7.30pm, Dundee Ice Arena
BOTH these sides are at the wrong end of the SNL table and while aspirations of at least challenging for the title have fast faded, climbing as high as they can get is their main aim.
Moray Typhoons travel to Tayside looking to leapfrog over the Tigers and pull themselves even further away from Kilmarnock Storm, who are destined to end up bottom of the pile.
Tigers are without a home win in their last three since beating Storm 8-1 back in mid November and after a run of five consecutive victories that looked like turning their season round, they’ve struggled again.
It’s only been one win in their last five as they stunned Edinburgh Capitals 8-6 at Murrayfield two weeks ago and will see the visit of the Elgin side as points to be won.
They defeated Moray 4-1 when they met in the north at the start of December in a game that saw Scott Marr score twice.
But James McLeman’s side have lost their last four, winning only once in their five away journeys this season and will need a big performance to get the sort of result they’re looking for.
SNL: PAISLEY PIRATES vs EDINBURGH CAPITALS
Sunday, 6pm, Braehead Arena
REJUVENATED Edinburgh Capitals’ first league meeting of the season against in-form Paisley Pirates in what stands out as the game of the weekend.
The Caps are off to Braehead Arena on the back of a confidence boosting 17-0 win over Kilmarnock Storm, where Joel Gautschi picked up six goals.
That result put them second, five points behind Kirkcaldy at the top of the SNL and a win in the west will close that gap and Edinburgh have games in hand too.
Paisley beat the Caps 2-1 at home in the Autumn Cup Semi Final, but lost the tie 8-5 overall after defeat at Murrayfield so can point to that as they look to continue their unbeaten home record in all competitions.
Only a point separates them, but Pirates have five straight wins under their belt, three of which have seen the club take their scoring into double figures.
It’s quite a contrast to the Caps, whose win over Killie was their first win in five and they’ve failed to win in their last four on the road, two of which have been draws.
That said, it will be a tough game and Pirates’ coach Ian Turley, talking to the club’s website, has urged the fans to turn up the noise on Sunday.
He said: “It’s got the makings of another cracking match, so we’re hopeful once again that the supporters will turn out in numbers to give us every ounce of backing that they can muster.
“They’ve been a little quiet in a few matches recently, but on Sunday we need them to turn up the volume to full blast, where you want every weapon you’ve got in your armoury to be working flat out.
“A noisy support can sometimes make the difference between winning and losing, so we want to hear them.”
SNL: SOLWAY SHARKS vs NORTH AYRSHIRE WILD
Sunday, 5.30pm, Dumfries Ice Bowl
A BRUISED and battered North Ayrshire Wild are heading down the A76 where they’ll be hoping to get back to winning ways when they visit Solway Sharks.
A humbling 10-2 home loss to Paisley Pirates left a sobering feeling after winning the previous six that elevated into the top echelons of the SNL table.
For Sharks, it’s a somewhat different they come from as they defeated Moray Typhoons last week as they went seventh.
They can claim to have the edge over the Auchenharvie side, having beaten them 4-3 back in November, where Tom Watson scored twice as part of the win.
But with Kestrels having a week off and Edinburgh Capitals and Paisley Pirates potentially cutting each other’s throats in the night’s other game, Wild could view this as an opportunity.
Solway’s young guns will be looking to keep in touch with Aberdeen Lynx and Dundee Comets, who are four points away, but they play each other as well and the Dumfries side could join the pack.
And with one home win in their last four, that’s form Solway will want to improve, setting up an interesting clash.