Solway Stingrays host Kilmarnock Thunder in the Stuart Robertson Cup on Sunday eager to build on their first victory of the season.
The Stingrays recovered from 3-1 down against Dundee Tigers last weekend to win 7-4 and get their SNL campaign off to the perfect start.
The Dumfries-based side had lost their opening four games in the new regional cup competition, but coach Joe Coulter was delighted to see the team start their league fixtures with a victory.
“We’ve had an extremely busy summer with recruitment and built a squad with plenty of depth – experience, skill, speed and hungry young prospects,” he said.
“Behind the scenes the guys have been pushing themselves – we’ve made training a very competitive environment where individuals are competing for spots in the line-up and it’s great to see this intensity being projected into games.
“Credit to the boys who didn’t dress for the game, because they are also a vital part in this result as well.
“The Tigers are a very experienced squad that finished around mid-table last season, so this really is a benchmark of the standard of performances we expect to see from the Stingrays.
“Although they had more shots on net than us, the scoreline shows how clinical our offense can be and what Chris Rae is capable of between the pipes. He’s a very talented shot-stopper and lived up to his reputation on the day.
“It would have been very easy for the boys to crumble after finishing the first period trailing by a couple of goals, but people don’t realise the character this team has. That bouncebackability isn’t something you can teach.
“It’s something that each of those guys have inside them, that determination, that will to compete no matter what the score is, that is going to be the key to our season. I was really impressed with the performance – we now sit top of the league and will not give that position up without a fight.
“Now it’s back to the grind – the victory is great, but we still have a few things to work on ahead of this week’s game against Kilmarnock.”
Elsewhere this weekend, Murrayfield Racers visit Aberdeen Lynx in the Stuart Robertson Cup on Saturday aiming to maintain their place at the top of the eastern group.
The two sides met at Murrayfield Ice Rink last weekend, with Racers recovering from two goals down to win 3-2.
The Racers are at home to North Ayrshire Wild in the Scottish Cup on Sunday, a side they beat 5-3 in their league meeting early last month.
Dundee Comets are in action in the Stuart Robertson Cup on Saturday at home to Kirkcaldy Kestrels.
Aberdeen Lynx v Murrayfield Racers – SRC East
Dundee Comets v Kirkcaldy Kestrels – SRC East
Solway Stingrays v Kilmarnock Thunder – SRC West
Murrayfield Racers v North Ayrshire Wild – SC
(Image permission: Copper Tree Photography)