SOLWAY SHARKS SNL coach Jamie Kerr is hopeful the battling qualities of his young team will be the hallmark of their season.
They took another league game to the wire last weekend as they managed to nab a point from Dundee Comets in a 3-3 draw in Dumfries.
And Kerr is pleased at the progress of his youthful team, who have taken three points from their three SNL outings so far this season.
He said: “The team as a whole are putting in a great deal of commitment on the ice and have shown how positive we can be and what high levels of energy our young guys bring.
“That coupled with some of the experienced guys keeps the energy flowing in the right direction and is proving fruitful on the score board but most importantly to me, is the young guys progression as players.
“I certainly hope the battling qualities of our team will be a big part of our season. As a coach all you can demand is that players reach a tempo and attitude for 60 minutes on any given night.
“That way we give ourselves the biggest chance possible for collecting the points on the night.
“We’ve been guilty of spells within games of not reaching that high tempo, for example digging ourselves a 0-3 deficit in the first nine minutes of the Aberdeen game.
“Hitting the ice; shift in, shift out for 60 minutes is the most basic hallmark that I want engrained in their game.
“Finding an extra gear to close games out is definitely in us, but wouldn’t want to depend on to the extremes we have in recent weeks.”
Solway hit the road for the first time in their league campaign when they travel to Braehead Arena to face Paisley Pirates, who also play at home for the first time.
Kerr is quick to play down his own side’s title chances and reiterated his team’s purpose of bringing on young talent for Martin Grubb’s NIHL side.
While he admits keeping the more talented players for his own team would help their chances, he hasn’t ruled giving their rivals some headaches and even backed the Pirates to be up there.
Kerr added: “When we have a full bench we are capable of beating anyone on our day. That said we’re here to serve a primary purpose of feeding players the experience to make the next step.
“Players that put a run of performances together for me, often have that feedback relaid to Martin (Grubb) and he will then look at them for his team.
“To be title contenders at SNL, we would need these type of guys week in week out for more chemistry and consistency however that still doesn’t mean we can give a few of the ‘favourites’ a scare or two.
“That said I think Paisley are a team that will be certainly up there or thereabouts come March. The Turley family do a great job keeping the organisation strong and imbedded within the community up there.
“Sunday will be another tough game and our meetings over the last few years in my time as SNL coach here have always been a goal or two either way.
“Whatever happens, Paisley will be respected for the big threat they are but we will look to focus on our own game first and foremost.”