PREVIEW: Top two set for epic Christmas battle

PREVIEW: Top two set for epic Christmas battle
Kirkcaldy Kestrels and Edinburgh Capitals battled to the end for the title last season.  Will they end up as the top two this season? (Photo courtesy of Kirkcaldy Kestrels/Gordon Venters)

Kirkcaldy Kestrels and Edinburgh Capitals battled to the end for the title last season. Will they end up as the top two this season? (Photo courtesy of Kirkcaldy Kestrels/Gordon Venters)

SNL: KIRKCALDY KESTRELS vs EDINBURGH CAPITALS
Sunday, 6pm, Fife Ice Arena

IT’S probably the biggest game of the league season, certainly in this campaign, as the top two square off for a significant Christmas advantage.

First play second in the game of the SNL Super Weekend as the current champions Kirkcaldy Kestrels host Edinburgh Capitals in a match that has the hallmarks of being a classic.

Both sides played each other in the last two fixtures to decide the title last season, but on this occasion, there’s a long way to go before the destination of the silverware will be concluded.

Kestrels top the table, a point ahead of the Caps despite having played two games more than their rivals from Edinburgh and victory will put them three points ahead.

Having dropped three points in their last two games, Edinburgh have to deliver in this fixture and come in on the back of a shock 5-4 loss to North Ayrshire Wild.

The men from Fife are unbeaten at home in the league this season and on current form, will be slight favourites, but will be mindful of the teams ready to make their move.

They will be seeking retribution for their 7-5 loss to the Caps in their earlier meeting, but with the title race getting ever tighter, these points could go a long way for either team.

That and the incentive of one of them to be top of the pile at Christmas should make this one that will be closely watched throughout the SNL.

WHAT THE TEAMS SAY:

Kirkcaldy Kestrels Team Manager Diane Farmer:

“This is a big game for Kestrels and after Paisley beat us a couple of weeks ago in the Scottish Cup, so we are now looking to the league or playoffs for silverware.

“However the majority of the teams are more than capable of taking points off each other, so while Sunday’s result could play a big part in the destination of the title, it will be by no means over.
 
“There probably isn’t a ‘right’ time to meet the Caps. Any team can have an off night, so we are not looking too much into recent results.

“It’s a local derby so both teams will be looking to raise their game. We snatched the league out of their grasp last season so they want that title back.

“The team that wants it more will win. As said earlier, this season is by no means a two horse race and this league title could go right to the wire.

Edinburgh Capitals’ coach Scott Neil:

“We really need the points to keep the SNL title challenge going in the right direction even though I don’t think we have played that bad in the last two games.

“We have been short of players but have been playing away against two good teams and I think it is an indication that the SNL is improving.

“It would be a big boost to get an important two points against another title challenger but there are too many games left and a number of other teams who could win the league. 

“The key for us is to be more clinical around the net and looking after the defensive side of the game.”

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Kirkcaldy Kestrels and Edinburgh Capitals battled to the end for the title last season.  Will they end up as the top two this season? (Photo courtesy of Kirkcaldy Kestrels/Gordon Venters)

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