The 2023-24 Scottish Ice Hockey season kicked off with a bang over the weekend, featuring a thrilling lineup of games that left fans on the edge of their seats. From high-scoring battles to nail-biting comebacks, it was an action-packed opening to the season.
The weekend started with Kilmarnock Thunder hosting last year’s league champions, the Aberdeen Lynx, at a packed out Galleon Centre. In a fast-paced first period, Calum Boyd of Kilmarnock Thunder scored just a minute into the game. The Lynx responded swiftly with a goal from their captain, Ben Edmonds. Thunder’s Innes Gallacher had a remarkable period, netting five goals, giving the home team an 8-4 lead by the end of the first.
The Lynx found their footing in the second period, narrowing the gap to 9-8 by the period’s conclusion. The final period remained tight, with both teams scoring another goal each. However, Thunder held on to secure a 10-9 victory in a game that showcased their offensive prowess.
The Dundee Comets took on the North Ayr Wild in a game with double points on the line due to ice time constraints at the Dundee Arena. The Comets opened the scoring in the first period through Billy Baxter. The second period saw back-and-forth action, with North Ayr’s Luca De Simone scoring twice and Keegan Cairns extending the Comets’ lead to 4-2.
Both teams managed to score one more goal each in the final period, resulting in a 5-3 victory for the Comets. The game highlighted the Comets‘ ability to maintain their lead while fending off their opponents’ efforts.
Comets coach, Richard Hartmann senior said, “It was a classic first game as we never had any pre-season games, that’s why it was maybe a little rusty and the guys sometimes unsure where to be. But I think the game had quite a good tempo and it was side to side the first two periods. In the third the tempo dropped a little but we found a way to win and that’s what counts. We know all the little things we need to work on for the upcoming games.”
In another double-points match, the Kirkcaldy Kestrels faced off against the Dundee Tigers. The Kestrels got off to a strong start with two goals in the first period. Despite the Tigers‘ comeback attempts, Finley King’s goal extended the Kestrels’ lead after the break.
The Tigers displayed resilience with two goals of their own, keeping the game competitive. However, a series of three quick goals from the Kestrels in the final period secured their lead. Despite a late goal from the Tigers‘ Captain Paul Guilcher, the Kestrels held on for the win.
The opening weekend provided a taste of the action-packed season ahead. Fans can look forward to more intense matchups, impressive plays, and memorable moments as the teams continue their journey in the 2023-24 Scottish Ice Hockey season.
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