Kilmarnock Storm host Paisley Pirates in the first leg of their Scottish Cup semi-final on Saturday hoping to upset the odds against the newly-crowned SNL champions.
Storm head into the tie without a league win to their name this season, but with their confidence buoyed by their success in the cup quarter-final.
After losing 6-5 at home to North Ayrshire Wild in the first leg, Storm stunned their local rivals to win the return game 4-2 and claim a 9-8 aggregate victory.
Head Coach Eric Young said: “We’re looking forward to the prospect of an exciting first leg of the semi-final after defeating Wild in the last round.
“We’ve been working hard on and off the ice in preparation for Saturday and will be ready for the battle.
“We respect our opponents and congratulate them on winning the league, but we’ll approach this game with no fear.
“The Storm now have a team with a good mix of youth and experience and will be doing everything we can as underdogs to reach the final.”
Having lost just once in the league this season the Pirates are favourites to complete the treble, but Head Coach Ian Turley believes other teams will be desperate to claim their scalp.
“Every game between now and the end of the season will be the same, with sides looking to take us down,” said Turley.
“We have a point to prove in every game we play. We want to show that as league champions we deserve it, but we need to continue turning up and putting in the hard graft to illustrate that’s what got us the title.
“We won’t win anything else unless we keep putting in the same high level of performances which got us there -anything else, and we can forget it.
“That’s what we need to do, and it’ll be my job to ensure we do it. There’s a cup final place at stake – we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted, so it’s business as usual for us this coming Saturday.”
Kilmarnock Storm v Paisley Pirates (Cup)
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(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)