Paisley Pirates coach Ian Turley has pleaded with the club’s supporters to give them an early Christmas present by turning out in numbers for tomorrow’s crucial SNL clash.
The Braehead side take on Solway Sharks, hoping to take a bite out of their Dumfries rivals and boost their own title hopes.
Pirates currently sit two points behind leaders North Ayrshire Wild, but have played a game less.
Now boss Turley wants to heap the pressure back on to their rivals by seeing off Sharks tomorrow – but insists his team need a noisy crowd at the Braehead Arena to help them along.
He said: “I understand that our band of helpers might be doing a few things to make the game a bit more festive than usual, so we’re hoping that our supporters will take a break from their pre-Christmas preparations to come along and support us in what is yet another critical game for us.
“We seem to have had a lot of them already this season but we’re where we want to be – at the top of the league – which means that every game is important to us.
“I know I’m always saying it but a big, noisy crowd cheering the players on really is worth so much to us, so please turn out in numbers to support us.
“I know that, by the Sunday night, I’ll be looking for a break from the Christmas festivities, so what better way to relax than to come out and support your local ice hockey team? By all means, come in your Christmas hats and your Santa outifts, but, most important of all, be there.
“It’s cheaper than a night out at the pantomime or going to any of the other traditional forms of entertainment on locally at this time of year and, with so many people now on holiday, it’s got to be the best seasonal bargain that folk can get prior to the January sales.”
Pirates go into tomorrow’s Christmas clash full of confidence after their massive 14-2 win against the Edinburgh Capitals two weeks ago.
Now Turley is hoping for a similar show against Solway.
He added: “We’re hoping to keep our run going against the Sharks but it’ll be tough as they’ve only lost two games this season and they’ve improved a lot from last year, as their fourth-place position in the league amply illustrates.
“This is our last fixture of 2012 and we want to finish on a high, especially as our first match in the New Year is down the road in Saltcoats against North Ayrshire Wild who, like us, have only dropped one point to date.
“It could hardly be closer at the top of the league and it really does have to be the case that we take one game at a time.
“We’ll have our hands full against the Sharks and we definitely need to give that game our full attention.”
Face-off for the Pirates’ clash with the Sharks at Braehead is at the usual time of 6pm.