SNL preview: Title race hots up

Paisley Pirates travel to North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday for a game which could be vital to both team’s title chances.

The hosts currently lie second in the table, three points behind Kirkcaldy Kestrels, while Pirates are a further three points adrift of Wild in fifth.

The teams head into the match full of confidence after victories against Kilmarnock Storm last weekend – Wild winning 6-4 on the road and Pirates cruising to a 14-1 success at Braehead Ice Arena.

Paisley boss Ian Turley commented: “It’s a totally different proposition we’re facing this weekend, with all due respect to Kilmarnock.

“North Ayrshire are probably one of the form teams in the league at the moment. They’ve been a totally different side since some of their more established players returned to them earlier in the season, and I reckon they’ll fancy their chances of beating us.

“Our home record remains at 100% after we took care of business against the Storm, but away from home we’ve struggled a bit and that’s a concern.

“I think Wild start favourites for this game, and that’s not doing our players any disservice, it’s just that Wild are playing very well at the moment.

“The league is very open this year and with Dundee Tigers turning over Edinburgh Capitals SNL last weekend, there’s maybe five or six teams, Wild and ourselves included, in contention to be top of the pile at the end of it all.”

SNL Press Officer Craig Anderson says this year’s title race is shaping up to be one of the closest for a number of years.

He said: “The league has gone from what we thought was going to be a dominant campaign from Edinburgh, into one where anything can happen after they started dropping points.

“Kirkcaldy have seized the advantage and the experience of having won the title can help them with the pressure later on, but Edinburgh have games in hand which become more and more important.

“North Ayrshire are the story of the season so far, but with only two games left out of their final seven at home, they have to turn poor away form around to keep in the mix.

“It’s going to be a hugely fascinating run-in of fixtures and we could yet see more twists and turns in this weekend’s fixtures.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Moray Typhoons v Solway Sharks SNL
North Ayrshire Wild v Paisley Pirates

Sunday

Dundee Tigers v Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Edinburgh Capitals v Kilmarnock Storm

(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)

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