MORAY Typhoons’ first-ever shot at the Scottish National League ice hockey play-offs will be taken this weekend.
The Moray Leisure Centre club took their debut season into overtime by finishing in the top eight, and will face-off with Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday (March 22) for a place in the semi-finals.
The Elgin outfit thumped Belfast Giants in their final match, after initially believing their opponents had conceded the match and they would make the play-offs by default.
However the Giants did arrive in Moray earlier this month, and were sent back over the Irish Sea to lick their wounds after an 11-2 crushing.
That win took Typhoons above both Belfast and Aberdeen in the rankings and into the final play-off spot, and they will take on Edinburgh home and away to determine who advances to the last four.
The Capitals finished top of the league and will be formidable opponents for Typhoons, having dished out 14-1 and 11-0 defeats to the Moray men already this season.
But Typhoons coach James McLeman is looking for his team to cause a big upset in Elgin this weekend by taking a lead down south for the second leg.
“If we can put the pressure on the league leaders by winning the first game on our home ice, who knows what could happen in Edinburgh,” he said.
The first period of the Belfast match didn’t go according to plan as Typhoons took the lead with a Mikey Ferguson goal after 32 seconds, only for Belfast to score two powerplay strikes.
“We took too many penalties and played most of the first period shorthanded,” said the coach. “During the break, I reminded the team what they were playing for and asked them to compete harder for the puck.”
Typhoons response was impressive, as F. Munro, M. Ferguson (2), D. Franklin (2) and C. Wright all scored to put them in a commanding position at the end of the second period. K. Russell added three more goals in the last period, along with one more for Munro to complete a resounding win.
Saturday’s clash against Edinburgh Capitals opens at 6.15pm.