PAISLEY Pirates coach Dino Bauba has put his side’s disappointing start to the season down to rink rust.
The Braehead-based team crashed to a humiliating 11-0 defeat at home to Fife Flyers on Saturday night.
But the Pirates dusted themselves down and turned in an improved performance the following day against their Fife rivals, although they were still on the wrong end of an 8-2 scoreline.
Bauba reckons the double-header defeats are largely due to lack of fitness caused by the problems of being unable to get ice time for training.
He said his Pirates stars are still searching for sharpness after a month without training facilities but has warned opposition teams that a storm is coming.
The Lithuanian told Express Sports: “Fife are a hard team to beat when you are ready to play but we’d only really had a couple of practices before we took to the rink.
“And this really did show in the first game as we were well and truly beaten by a strong Fife team.”
However, in the second game, there was a big improvement from the Pirates, with goals from Edinburgh-born Sean Donaldson and local lad Chris Conaboy giving some hope for the rest of the season.
Bauba said: “The second game was by far a big improvement on the first. We held on well and played some good hockey.
“At one point, we were only down by a goal at 3-2 and the boys were battling hard.
“Sean and Chris managed to score for us and the confidence was running high but then fitness got the better of us and Fife broke us down.
“The more we practice though, the better we will get and I expect to see us improve over the coming weeks.”
He added: “We don’t have any matches this weekend, so we will all be training hard and getting some serious ice time to prepare for the next two games against Whitley Warriors and the Solway Sharks.
“None of these games will be easy, mainly due to the fact that all these teams have had much more ice time than us, but I hope the natural progression by the players as they get more practice under their belts will mean better results for the fans and the team.
“I also hope to improve the squad over the next few weeks.”
The Pirates will be back in action on Sunday, October 25, when they take on Solway Sharks in Dumfries and are then scheduled to play the Whitley Warriors at home on Saturday, October 31.