Junior players from across Scotland will attend Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday aiming to take the next step on the road to representing their country at the Conference Weekend in Sheffield next year.

The weekend is the showpiece of the junior ice hockey calendar and features rising talent from across the UK. A Scotland versus England U19 international game kicks-off the event on day one, with over 40 Conference games taking place over the next three days. Scotland coach Steven Lynch says he’s looking forward to this year’s selection process.

“The clubs have put forward names of players to try out from U11 through to U17 level,” said Lynch. “We have three trials on the last Sunday of the next three months, and after those we pick squads of 25 for every age group.

“Around January or February time we’ll announce our final squads of 17 players who’ll travel south next May and we’re hoping to continue our recent improvements.

“Last year our U11 and U13 teams both reached their finals and were unlucky to lose. The U17 side carried themselves very well and although the U15 team didn’t perform as well as we’d hoped they did face really tough opposition.

“The ultimate goal for all our age groups, including the U19 team who will face England, is to go down there and get as much success as we can. We’re going into year three of this cycle of the national programme which I’ve overseen with Barry Carnegie and this was the year we said we’d hoped to see the rewards of what we’ve put in place.

“The ultimate aim is to produce a pathway for players into the SNL and the Elite League too. Some players may eventually get their chance in the top flight, but as a bare minimum I’d hope many would find their way in the the SNL and hopefully help improve the standard in the future.”

Moray Typhoons recorded their first victory of the season with a hard-fought 8-6 success at Solway Stingrays over the weekend.

Graham Ramshaw (3), Steve Mackin, Gavin Millar, Stuart Ferguson, Maris Saultis and Fraser Munro were on target for the Typhoons.

Dundee Comets maintained their 100% start to the SNL campaign with a comprehensive 10-0 victory at home to Dundee Tigers. John Dolan (4) and Ross Johnston (2) topped the scoring for the Comets who have now racked up 45 goals in their opening three games of the campaign.

Aberdeen Lynx also have maximum points from three games after recording an 11-2 home win against Kilmarnock Thunder. Christian Johnson (4), Andrew Murphy (3), Iain Malcolm (2) Jonathan Jack and Mikvlas Novotny got the goals for Aberdeen, with Marcus Murdoch (2) replying for the visitors.

Willie Nicolson (2), Garry Simpson, Jay Duncan, Reece Cochrane and Scott Jamieson were on the scoresheet for Kirkcaldy Kestrels in their 6-1 victory at Kilmarnock Storm.

Edinburgh Capitals SNL made it two wins out of two with a comfortable 13-0 home win against North Ayrshire Wild.

WEEKEND RESULTS

Aberdeen Lynx 11-2 Kilmarnock Thunder
Dundee Comets 10-0 Dundee Tigers
Edinburgh Capitals SNL 13-0 North Ayrshire Wild
Kilmarnock Storm 1-6 Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Solway Stingrays 6-8 Moray Typhoons

Kilmarnock Storm host Kirkcaldy Kestrels on Saturday aiming to continue their impressive start to the SNL season.

Storm have recorded a pair of 6-2 victories over North Ayrshire Wild and Dundee Tigers during the first two weeks of the campaign, but the Kestrels are likely to provide a stern challenge this weekend. Forward Ross Andreucci believes last Sunday’s victory over the Tigers highlighted the team’s improvement, but he admits Saturday’s game will be a difficult test.

“Once we got rid of our travelling legs in the first period we came out in the second and upped the tempo a couple gears,” he said. “When it was five versus five we dominated the game and everyone’s work ethic was fantastic.

“Our start to the season has been fantastic – we’ve got off to a flyer and we’re full of confidence and playing really well. Saturday’s game will be a tough game. The Kestrels have always been a good side and I’m sure it will be action-packed. We’re going in very confident though and team morale is very high.”

“Hopefully we’ll get a big turnout to watch what should be a really entertaining game.”

Dundee Comets are in action against the Tigers on Saturday looking to make it three wins out of three this term. The Comets have defeated Solway Stingrays and Kilmarnock Thunder so far, and defender Jamie Whitelaw has been impressed with his team’s performances.

“As a group we are really pleased that we have managed to continue a strong form off the back of last season,” said Whitelaw. “We are a tight group of lads and our new signings have shown great attitude and fitted in well to the squad.

“John (Dolan – head coach) has brought the boys even closer together and pushes us really hard at training so fitness is constantly improving. We haven’t even had a game with a full squad yet, so we definitely feel there are plenty more positives to come.

“There is definitely a buzz about the rink right now with our young boys starting to step up and also attracting new sponsors and we are confident we will continue to improve as the season goes on.

“As for the derby, it will of course be a tough physical test and we always go into these games knowing the stakes. We are really looking forward to playing in another Dundee derby with a great atmosphere.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Aberdeen Lynx v Kilmarnock Thunder
Dundee Comets v Dundee Tigers
Kilmarnock Storm v Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Solway Stingrays v Moray Typhoons

Sunday

Edinburgh Capitals SNL v North Ayrshire Wild

Great Britain U20 held their latest camp in Sheffield as preparations continue for the World Championship tournament being held in Dumfries later this year.

The GB youngsters had a couple of two-hour ice sessions and video analysis at iceSheffield as the squad were put through their paces.

Head Coach Slava Koulikov said: “The camp went really well. Having the two on-ice sessions gave us enough time to do a lot of team technical aspects.

“We were able to go over it in depth and and having a video session off the ice was very useful. The guys did well on and off the ice and coaches were pleased with how camp went.

“Now it’s time to review, move forward and start planning for November camp.”

Ice Hockey UK will be hosting this season’s U20 World Championship (Division 2A) in Dumfries from 10th to 16th December.

GB will face Estonia, Japan, Netherlands and Romania, along with Korea who were promoted from Division 2B this year.

Ice Hockey UK is running a series of level 1 officiating courses over the next few months.

Dumfries and Dundee are amongst five venues hosting the sessions in the United Kingdom.

The cost of the course is £115 and this must be paid to confirm your booking.

The fee includes your registration/insurance to be an official for the remainder of the season.

For further information please click here.

Aberdeen Lynx maintained their perfect start to the SNL season with a 12-4 victory at Solway Stingrays.

Jordan Leyden (3), Iain Malcolm (2) and Andrew Murphy (2) topped the scoring for Lynx. Jack Durkacz, Aaron Thomson Sean Dyer, Christian Johnson and Jonathan Jack also got on the scoresheet.

Dundee Comets notched double figures for the second weekend in a row, winning 16-5 at Kilmarnock Thunder.

Kirkcaldy Kestrels opened their campaign with a 9-2 win at home to Moray Typhoons – Marty Simpson (2), Robbie Hill (2), Scott Jamieson (2), Jay Duncan, Sean Cochrane and Jamie Wilson were on target for the home side.

Edinburgh Capitals SNL eased to a 9-0 victory at North Ayrshire Wild – Michael Ireland (3), Harry Ferguson (2) and Aaron Robertson (2) led their scoring.

Kilmarnock Storm continued their impressive form with a 6-2 success at Dundee Tigers – Scott Cowan (2), Graham Lester (2), Ross Andreucci and Ryan Parkin got the goals for the visitors.

Grant Reekie and Eck Purves scored for the Tigers who led early in the second period, but were unable to hold off the much-improved Storm.

A Tigers spokesman said: “We were a bit scrappy out there tonight but it didn’t feel like a 6-2 game.

“The Storm are a decent team this year and looked a bit sharper than us at times, but there are some positives we can take from this game. Our new signings fitted in well but we need to get into the habit of getting pucks to the net. We over-passed tonight and need to be a bit hungrier in front of goal.

“We were light on defence this weekend and lost Scott Geddes to injury late in the first period. We’re hoping his injury isn’t as too serious, but we’re also working on trying to bring in some additional cover at the back-end.

“We’ve got a massive game next weekend as we face the Dundee Comets away in our first derby of the season and know we’ll have to be much better than we were tonight in every position if we’re to take anything from that game.”

WEEKEND RESULTS

Dundee Tigers 2-6 Kilmarnock Storm
Kilmarnock Thunder 5-16 Dundee Comets
Kirkcaldy Kestrels 9-2 Moray Typhoons
North Ayrshire Wild 0-9 Edinburgh Capitals SNL
Solway Stingrays 4-12 Aberdeen Lynx

Kirkcaldy Kestrels host Moray Typhoons on Saturday hoping to get their SNL season off to the perfect start.

The Kestrels finished fourth last term having won the title for the previous two years, but coach Steven Wishart believes his team can challenge for honours this term.

“After a couple of warm-up games against Dundee Comets we’re excited and ready to get our league campaign underway,” he said.

“Last season was a transitional period for ourselves, but with the addition of a few experienced players to the squad over the summer months we feel we’re ready to kick on and really challenge for silverware this season.

“The game this Saturday can’t come quick enough. We’re expecting a hard working Moray team which goes right to the end.

“They’ve added an import player to their roster and ran Aberdeen close last weekend, so we’ll need to be on our game if we’re to start with a victory.”

Dundee Tigers get their season underway on Sunday when they face Kilmarnock Storm.

The Tigers struggled towards the back-end of last year, eventually finishing in seventh place, but defender Ian Carstairs expects a better showing this time around.

“It feels like it’s been a long summer and we’ve had some changes in the club over the close season,” said Carstairs.

“A couple of players have moved on and we’ve added a few new faces to the line-up, so it will be good to get on the ice and see how we gel.

“We’ve not secured the services of an import to the team yet, but are still interested in recruiting one if we can find the right person to fit with the team.

“We face Kilmarnock Storm this weekend and it will be interesting to see how their squad has been affected by the introduction of another team playing out of the Galleon Centre.

“They finished their last campaign on a high after defeating us, so we’ll be going into this game with our wits about us.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Kilmarnock Thunder v Dundee Comets
Kirkcaldy Kestrels v Moray Typhoons

Sunday

Dundee Tigers v Kilmarnock Storm
North Ayrshire Wild v Edinburgh Capitals SNL
Solway Stingrays v Aberdeen Lynx

Dumfries Ice Bowl will honour one of its favourite sons this weekend as part of celebrations to mark its 25-year anniversary.

Bobby Carruth had long ties with ice hockey in Dumfries that started with bringing his son Gary to the junior ice hockey club. He subsequently become the Solway Sharks’ manager as Gary progressed and developed in the sport. In later years Bobby was lucky enough to watch his grandsons, Kyle and Taylor, also take up ice hockey.

A memorial game (face-off 4.00pm) will see the return of two previous Sharks captains – Mark Gallagher and Ross Edgar – who have reunited some of Bobby’s boys and put together teams that include his family, friends and teammates from Scotland and beyond, with import players returning for this special occasion.

His memory will live on at Dumfries Ice Bowl for years to come, as the Bobby Carruth Memorial game will be played annually when the Sharks take on their pre-season competitors each year, with donations going to charities in Bobby’s name. This year’s chosen charity is the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary renal unit, a cause close to the Carruth family.

The game will be followed by the Sharks versus Whitley Warriors NIHL North fixture, which will also be free to enter.

Bobby’s son Gary said: “It is going to be great being back with my old teammates, as it is only through time that I have realised how lucky I was to share the highs and lows with my dad as part of the team. These are memories I will keep forever.

“He loved his hockey and he loved his boys and that is all the guys who are here this weekend. I hope we can raise more money for the unbelievable renal unit at DGRI and I hope everyone enjoys the game.”

Sharks’ head coach Martin Grubb added: “Bobby was a massive part of this club as a parent, grandparent, team manager and supporter, and everyone is honoured to be able to be able to pay tribute to him with this game.

“He was a special person that everyone loved being around and that shows with the amount of players coming to play. It will be special to see his son Gary along with his two sons Kyle and Taylor playing together in his memory.”

Aberdeen Lynx kicked off their SNL season with a hard-fought victory at Moray Typhoons on Saturday.

Lynx recovered from 3-1 down to secure a 5-3 success – Christian Johnson (2), Aaron Thomson, Jonathan Hogan and Iain Malcolm got their goals. Steve Makin, Michael Ferguson and John Jack were on target for the Typhoons.

Kilmarnock Storm recorded a 6-2 home victory over North Ayrshire Wild – Scott Cowan (2), Iain Forsyth, Ryan Parkin, Graham Lester and Adam Stewart scored for the home side.

Dundee Comets ran out 19-1 winners against Solway Stingrays on Sunday. New signing Andy Henderson marked his debut for the Comets with a goal and the MVP award.

Stingrays found things tough against one of sides expected to challenge for the title, but head coach Scott McMeeken believes his team will improve as the season progresses.

“It’s never easy to get beat and the players certainly don’t like it, but being realistic this game was never about the result for us,” he told the club’s official Facebook page.

“We have to take the positives from the game and work hard at training to make sure we improve.

“I’ve said it a few times now, it is going to take time for us to get going with so many players coming back to the sport after taking time out, but I’m absolutely confident that we will be better every time we hit the ice.

“It’s going to be a learning experience for all our players, but this team will get better and we will start getting better next week.

“We’ve got a few more players still to add to this squad that I hope to announce this week. All going well they will be in the squad for next Sunday at home.”

WEEKEND RESULTS

Dundee Comets 19-1 Solway Stingrays
Kilmarnock Storm 6-2 North Ayrshire Wild
Moray Typhoons 3-5 Aberdeen Lynx

The Scottish Ice Hockey Association has appointed a new Media & Communications Officer ahead of the 2017/18 season.

Michael Black joins the SIHA having most recently worked as editor of the British Ice Hockey website.

He has previously provided media and PR support for a variety of clubs, in addition to supplying NIHL North analysis for both local and national radio stations. Michael will work with the SIHA board and member clubs to promote the game to a wider audience.

“It’s an exciting challenge, but it’s something I’m eager to tackle,” said Michael. “My role will be to get as much information into the public domain as possible, helping the SIHA to further develop the sport in Scotland.

“Over the coming weeks we will be revamping the existing website and actively looking to grow our new social media presence. With the cooperation of the clubs, we plan to increase the news and features output at both senior and junior level.

“There is plenty of work to do, but I firmly believe that with the support of the board and the clubs we can enhance the profile of the Association and further develop the sport in Scotland.”

SIHA chairman David Hand added: “Our media and communications is something I’ve been keen to address and I’m pleased that Michael has come on board with us.

“There’s always plenty happening in Scottish ice hockey and it’s important that we spread the word about what we do to help us increase the profile of the sport. We’ve a little work to do behind the scenes on the website, but we should be fully up-to-speed fairly soon.”

The SIHA can be found on Twitter @ScotIceHockey and on Facebook here.