Aberdeen Lynx host North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday aiming to bounce back from losing their first game of the season last weekend.
Lynx fell 4-3 at Paisley Pirates and now trail the SNL leaders by three points with five matches to play, but Head Coach Barry Carnegie refuses to give up on the title just yet.
“Going into the game we knew this was going to be our toughest test of the season,” said Carnegie.
“In one sense I’m obviously disappointed to come away from the game with no points.
“However, a positive for me was that they threw the kitchen sink at us and, despite losing a couple of bodies to injury, we dug in and almost sneaked a point at the end.
“The race is certainly not over and we’ll be fully focused on taking maximum points from the remaining league games.
“Our fans again travelled in huge numbers and we are grateful, as always, for the support they give us through thick and thin.
“Our goal is to deliver an ever-improving team for them each year and one defeat does not change that.”
Paisley face another difficult fixture as they take on Edinburgh Capitals SNL on Sunday.
The clubs drew 3-3 in a tense match in Edinburgh last weekend, and Pirates’ boss Ian Turley is expecting another close game.
“We had a tough weekend just past when we scraped by Aberdeen before going to Edinburgh, and I’ve mixed feelings at the outcome of the double-header having not gained the full four points.
“I thought we were a bit disjointed at certain junctures and made some bad decisions when it really mattered.
“I’ll be looking for the boys to dig deep, play to the maximum of their ability and effort to ensure there’s no slip-ups this weekend.
“We’ve been playing with various bumps and bruises, something which the fans don’t always realise, but we’re now at the business end of the season so we have to get on with it and grind out the results we need.
“We’ve got five games left to play in the league, and we’re regarding every one of them as crucial.
“There can be absolutely no let up from us in training and games on the run-in to the finish – we simply can’t afford to relax, and I’ll be reminding everyone of that fact in the coming weeks.”
“The fans also have their role to play in getting right behind the boys, giving them every bit of encouragement they can muster.
“The noise level has risen sharply in the last couple of home games, and we’ve seen a lot of familiar faces back watching us.
“The word is obviously getting about that a Paisley match provides great entertainment and is excellent value for money.
“We’re hoping they continue to come along and watch us, as an encouraging support makes all the difference in the world.”
Aberdeen Lynx v North Ayrshire Wild
Dundee Comets v Moray Typhoons
Paisley Pirates v Edinburgh Capitals SNL
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)