NORTH Ayrshire Wild took on Paisley Pirates in a potential thriller at Harvies on Saturday.

After the frenzy of the away leg the previous Sunday, which ended in a 4-4 draw, this tie was shaping up to be a classic.

Both sides needed a win to secure their route to the final against the east coast league winners.

With some key players missing for the Wild, they would need to rely on the depth and strength of the squad to see off the challenge of a strong Pirates team. From the first puck drop each side was trying to gain the upper hand.

It would come, however from a Pirates power play after Wild's Alan Maitland receive a penalty for tripping timed at 1:45. Chris Turley scored to give Paisley the lead timed at 2:56. This only fuelled the determination of the home side to take the game to Pirates.

Using the high tempo, Wild tried to get a foothold in the game before the end of the first period, however the period finished with the Pirates still holding on to a slim lead.

The second period continued with Wild trying to expose weakness in the Pirates defence. Again, the visitors would strike from a power play when Gary Sherriff was given a minor penalty for an interference call at 26:10. Former North Ayrshire junior player Dean Hamilton, scored for the Pirates late in the penalty kill to double the visitors lead at 28:03. Midway through the second period, the tensions of the game came to a head at 35:03 when the Wild's Adam Kerr and Pirates Ben Walker were each given 2+2 for roughing. This wouldn’t be the end of the drama for this period as the Wild’s Callum Siebenaler got involved with Pirates' Chris Turley which saw Siebenaler being put out the game by officials and Turley receiving 2+2 for roughing at 36:49. The second period ended with the Pirates holding onto a 2-0 lead.

The third saw the Wild come out with a new self-belief which showed in their play as took the game by the scruff of the neck and too it to the Pirates. It wasn’t long till they scored through Scott Cowan assisted by Ryan Campbell at 43:55. The Pirates however were determined to hold on to increase their lead through Calum Blair assisted by Euan McLaughlin at 45:24.

The Wild answered back almost immediately through Alan Maitland, assisted by Scott Cowan and Lewis Smith at 46:14. Paisley increased their lead again at 51:01 through Richard Thorp, assisted by Martyn Guy. The Wild were not finished and pulled one back again through Alan Maitland assisted by Scott Crane at 58:54. With Pirates leading 4-3 going into the final minute, the Wild needed a goal and it came via Alan Maitland for his hat-trick - assisted by Alasdair Brown and Scott Cowan at 59:19.

For the second week running, the game finished 4-4.

Wild man of the match: Alan Maitland.


Saturday, October 27

Home game, face-off 6.30pm

North Ayrshire Wild v Murrayfield Racers in Scottish Cup (2nd Leg)

Away Games

North Ayrshire Sabres (U10's) X-Ice at Dundee Ice Arena

Games start 5pm, Dundee, Murrayfield, Lanarkshire, Kirkcaldy & North Ayrshire all taking part

North Ayrshire Stars v Ayr Bruins (U14's)

At Ayr Ice Rink: Face Off, 3.15pm

North Ayrshire Predators v Ayr Bruins (U16's)

At Ayr Ice Rink: Face Off - 5pm.

Sunday, October 28

National Training Day

THE club have 17 players attending Dundee Ice Arena for Scotland Trials for the national team. Two of the club's recruits are also attending the Scotland girls development session being held at The Time Capsule in Coatbridge on the same day.