SNL: NORTH AYRSHIRE WILD vs ABERDEEN LYNX
Saturday, 6.30pm, Auchenharvie Ice Rink
TWO teams that picked up massive wins last weekend go head to head in one of the three fixtures that make up the SNL Super Weekend as Aberdeen Lynx return to Ayrshire.
Just seven days since romping to a 7-0 win over bottom of the table Kilmarnock Storm, Lynx now take on North Ayrshire Wild, who themselves are in buoyant mood.
When you consider they’ve handed the league’s early pacesetters Edinburgh Capitals their first defeat of the season in a 5-4 win to send them into fourth in the table.
Wild are the only team from the top six playing this weekend that can’t climb if they get victory, but it would bring them closer to the teams at the top, depending on other results.
As for Lynx, the top spot is within striking distance, but they won’t get there this weekend with top dogs Kirkcaldy Kestrels and second placed Capitals going head to head.
But second is achievable and it’ll be something they’ll aim for while trying to nullify the threat that North Ayrshire Wild have.
Genuine title ambitions could be realised with this game, but the league is a lot more open than how it looked just a couple of weeks ago.
WHAT THE TEAMS SAY:
North Ayrshire Wild coach Stevie Andrews:
“The past two results are an indication that the Wild are capable of beating any team on a given night, but as a coach what is needed from the team is consistently great performances through the season, every game.
“The game against Aberdeen will be a good test of the teams consistency against a team which you need to treat with respect.
“As a team we are looking to build as many points as possible to get in to a good end of season playoff spot and its always a great incentive for the players and fans to see the team at the top end of the table.
“Wild need to take their ‘A’ game to the rink on Saturday and hockey gods willing that will deliver a Wild win.
“The season has a long way to go so nothing is a given, but as we have seen, the front runners need to respect their opponents who can deliver an upset that could affect their title challenge.”
Aberdeen Lynx player-coach Barry Carnegie:
“We’re in a good position to be in and we have played most of the teams in the mix now so hopefully we can finish strong while the others all take points off each other.
“In terms of results, it’s pretty much where I expected to be, but leagues aren’t won at Christmas, although they can be lost.
“We will try to focus on our own game and the things we can influence. It’s nice to look at the table and see us right up there, but it will be even nicer if we can be there in April.
“The key to victory for us this weekend is looking after our own game and I’m not one for focusing on individual opponents. If we do our talking on the ice then the other teams will have plenty to keep them busy.
“The results so far have thrown up a few surprises and have made it the closest SNL league for years, I don’t think this weekend will be any different.”