Kirkcaldy Kestrels visit Paisley Pirates in the SNL on Sunday for a game which forward Chad Smith believes could “make or break” their season.
The Kestrels head into the weekend third in the table, two points behind the Pirates but having played two more games.
With Aberdeen Lynx a further two points in front of the Pirates at the top of the standings, Smith recognises the importance of this weekend’s clash.
“This will be the biggest challenge we’ve faced as a team this season – it’s really going to test us physically and mentally,” said Smith.
“I believe the boys have it in them to win this game and everyone in the team realises the importance of this fixture, as it can make or break the season for us.
“We’ve had a rough start, but this could kickstart the season for us and get us back on track.
“Paisley have a good team and work hard, but with the talent we have in our team if we don’t go through the motions we can get the win.”
The Pirates have dropped just one point so far this season and last week’s 9-2 victory over Dundee Tigers was a big statement of intent after five weeks without a game.
Pirates’ boss Ian Turley admitted he’s pleased with his team’s form, but acknowledged the threat posed by the reigning league champions.
“We’ve been doing very well both home and away this year, but this has the potential to be one of our hardest matches of the season,” said Turley.
“The Kestrels have been showing a bit of form of late, and will be looking to reverse the 3-1 defeat we inflicted on them at their place a couple of months back.
“They’ll be feeling confident, but so will we, so I think the fans who attend the game are going to be the real winners as I’m certain it’s going to be some match-up.
“You’re always a bit worried when you go into a game which has the potential to trip you up, and last weekend’s match against the Tigers certainly fell into that category.
“We were minus a few guys and hadn’t played in over a month, but everyone stepped up to the plate and this team is maturing at a rate of knots.
“We expect to have some of the guys who missed last week back in the line-up, and while we’ll respect the Kestrels we’re entitled to think that we’ve also earned the regard we’re held in.”
Edinburgh Capitals SNL v Moray Typhoons
Paisley Pirates v Kirkcaldy Kestrels
(Image permission: Gordon Venters)