Weekend Roundup

Five league games took place this weekend, despite the wet and windy Scottish weather.

The Edinburgh Capitals played their first two games of the SNL and secured two wins. On Saturday, they faced Kilmarnock Thunder at home, and on Sunday, they made the short journey to Fife to take on the Kirkcaldy Kestrels.

The league leaders, Thunder, opened the scoring with a goal within the first few minutes and added a second shorthanded goal at the beginning of the 2nd period. The Capitals were over halfway through the game before Andrew Craik scored Edinburgh’s first goal. Innes Gallagher notched his second goal of the game for Thunder just a few minutes later. Going into the final period, Thunder led 3-2. The Caps found their stride and scored three more in quick succession, securing a 5-3 victory.

Fresh from their win the previous evening, the Capitals were ready to take on Kirkcaldy Kestrels. This Fife fixture is always a tough one, but the Caps wasted no time, finding the back of the net three times before the first intermission. Another goal just 27 seconds into the 2nd period extended their lead, but the Kestrels didn’t give up, and Scott Jamieson scored for the Fife side. With a further goal, the score was 4-2 going into the final period, and although both sides fought hard, neither could find the back of the net. The final score was 4-2 in favour of the Capitals.

Capitals coach Steven Lynch said, “It was great to kick off our league season with two wins over the weekend against two strong teams. We had to work really hard in both games to secure those wins. Kilmarnock got off to a very good start at Murrayfield on Saturday night, and we had a fantastic second half of the game, especially in the first five minutes of the third period when we scored three goals to take control. In Sunday’s game in Kirkcaldy, we got off to a strong start, going up 4-0, but as expected, they came back hard. They weren’t just going to lie down and accept defeat; they made a competitive game of it. However, we stuck to our game plan and managed to shut them down in the third period, making it a great four-point weekend.”

Aberdeen Lynx moved up to 2nd place in the league with a double-point win against the Dundee Tigers on Saturday. Now on 6 points, they are 2nd in the table, just behind Kilmarnock Thunder and ahead of Dundee Comets. The stakes were high with 4 points up for grabs, but the Aberdeen side wasted no time, with John Dolan scoring his first of four goals of the night just 1 minute and 32 seconds into the game. The Tigers fought hard but couldn’t overcome the Lynx’s 2-goal lead, and the game finished 5-3 in favour of Aberdeen.

Paisley Pirates v North Ayrshire Wild at Braehead Arena, Renfrew on 8 October 2023. Picture: Al Goold (www.algooldphoto.com) Twitter: @AlGooldPhoto Insta: @Clanphotos

It was a bittersweet weekend for North Ayrshire Wild, with a 4-2 loss against the Dundee Comets on Saturday but a win against the Paisley Pirates on Sunday at the Braeside Arena. In the Comets game Dylan Murray opened the scoring for the Wild with a power-play goal, but in this intense game, they struggled to break through their oponents defense. The 2nd period saw the Comets score 2 goals, taking the lead. However, it was the last few minutes of the game that decided the outcome. Wild evened the scoreline, but with 2 goals in the dying minutes of the game, the Comets secured the win.

Facing another formidable team on Sunday, Wild regrouped and were ready to go again. Chris Wilson from the Pirates scored first, but it was in the 2nd period that Wild found their stride, netting 4 goals. It was 4-3 in favour of the Pirates going into the final period, but both teams scored an early goal. However, Tom Johnson for the Pirates bagged the equaliser on a power play. Tied 5-5 at the final whistle, it was Dylan Murray from the Wild who secured the win just 6 seconds into overtime.

The league table is looking very different from last season, with any one of the teams capable of taking the points on the night. It promises to be another thrilling year for Scottish Ice Hockey!

Scottish National League (SNL)