Paisley Head Coach Ian Turley believes the Pirates are a shining example of how a club should conduct itself on and off the ice.
The Pirates progressed to the final after completing a 26-3 aggregate victory over Kilmarnock Storm, but other events over the same weekend gave Turley more reasons to be proud.
“We went out and did the job we had to do on Sunday night – I appreciate that it wasn’t much of a spectacle for the big crowd we had in, but we demand that the team goes out and does the best it can every game, and that’s what it did,” said Turley.
“There were so many other things going on over the weekend that illustrate why this club is special, and isn’t just an ice hockey team.
“At Friday’s Lord Provost’s Annual Community Awards event club secretary Jackie Turley won the Sporting Achievement category, which doesn’t just recognise what we’ve done on the ice, but shows that the Pirates are recognised as an important element in all the parts that go into a local community.
“That is, and always will be, very important to us.
“On Sunday we were presented with the SNL trophy and winners’ medals by the Deputy Lord Provost, Councillor John Caldwell.
“To continue to receive recognition for our achievements from the local council, who have always been very supportive of us in various ways, is also hugely significant.
“You could feel our supporters literally bursting with pride as the team came up one-by-one to receive their gongs. Moments like that are so precious – not just for the players, but for the supporters watching their team being honoured.
“We also had a very special moment during the MVP presentations, as it was hosted by Tommy Laverty (pictured above) – an 86 years young Pirates fan who’s supported the club from the very start.
“He was there at East Lane when it all started for us back in 1946.
“We felt that given the circumstances of Sunday night it was very important to us to reinforce the special relationship between the Pirates and the town of Paisley.
“In our seventieth year what could possibly have been more fitting than to have someone who was there at the very start to help us celebrate?
“Finally, we had an incident during the second period when one of the Kilmarnock team was hit in the head by a shot and, after several minutes’ treatment on the ice, was stretchered off and taken to hospital.
“Our first aid team were on the ice within seconds. Arena staff were on hand also, and he received appropriate care and attention until the ambulance arrived, at which time he was quickly transported to hospital.
“Fortunately the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked at first, but we’ve received fulsome praise from both his parents, and others who saw the incident, praising us for the very professional way we dealt with it, how well they perceive the club is run, and praising our fans for the respectful way they responded to what appeared a very serious situation.
“The main thing is that the player is pretty much okay, but all of the above just demonstrates how much respect and recognition this club carries both locally and further afield, and that will always be important to us.
“That, for me, separates this club from the pack and, as long as I have anything to do with it, that’s the way it will continue to be.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)