Kirkcaldy Kestrels travel to Aberdeen Lynx on Saturday hoping to put a dent in their host’s SNL title ambitions.
Lynx currently trail leaders Paisley Pirates by four points with two games in hand, but Kestrels’ forward Aaron Robertson believes the reigning champions can throw a spanner in the works.
“We’ve been working hard in training the last couple of weeks and anticipate one of our toughest games of the season,” said Robertson.
“Even though the league title is now gone for us we’ll still be arriving in Aberdeen looking to take maximum points.
“We know it’ll be an exciting atmosphere to play in and the players are looking forward to it, especially the younger ones who haven’t experienced it before.
“Saying that, we love the challenge and have had success there before. It should be a tough game to test the new team dynamics, but we’re confident we’ll get a result.”
Lynx still have four games of the regular season to play, but Saturday’s game could go a long way to deciding the destination of the title.
With another bumper home crowd to roar them on, Head Coach Barry Carnegie is confident his team can pick up a victory.
“The Kestrels have lost a few experienced players since winning the league last year – this season they’ve gone more with a younger team,” Carnegie told the Aberdeen Evening Express.
“They’re a good enough team and they will punish us if we start the game like we did against Paisley last week.
“I just hope that with the big crowd and the atmosphere up here, it has an effect on the young guys and works to our advantage.
Lynx are also in action on Sunday as they travel to Paisley Pirates for the second leg of their Scottish Cup quarter-final.
The Pirates hold a 3-2 lead after last week’s first meeting, but Carnegie refuses to believe the tie is over.
“We definitely think we can come back against them – it only takes a second to score a goal,” he added.
“I think we’ll be extra motivated, especially if we get a good performance (on Saturday) and go down the road with our tails up.”
Last week’s meeting in Aberdeen was a feisty affair as both sides looked to gain a crucial first leg lead.
Pirates’ boss Ian Turley is expecting a similar game on Sunday.
“It’ll be another testing fixture for us – we seem to be on a diet of them right now,” he said.
“I suppose it’s much better than taking part in meaningless games with nothing at stake. The first leg was very entertaining, with goals, hard hits and a few toe-to-toe encounters which led to several early showers.
“I don’t think for a minute that the second leg will be any different. We’ve played the Lynx three times already this year, and the results have been two one goal wins and a draw, so you’d suspect Sunday’s game will be along similar lines.
“Anybody thinking we’re halfway into the semis already, I’m telling them to forget it.
“We expect nothing less than sixty minutes of flat out action and once again we’ll need to play to the top of our form, as the Lynx are capable of beating anyone else in the SNL.
“They’re challenging at the top of the league and I’m sure they’ll try and throw everything at us right from the off.”
Aberdeen Lynx v Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Paisley Pirates v Aberdeen Lynx (Cup)
Dundee Tigers v Dundee Comets
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)