Murrayfield Racers travel to Solway Sharks tomorrow for their fourth match in the National Ice Hockey League North Cup, looking to pick up their first points in the home and away round-robin competition that to-date has proved tough for the Scottish National League side.
Last weekend Racers, with several of their most experienced players out injured, put in a spirited performance in a 3-0 defeat at last season’s NIHL champions, Sheffield Steeldogs.
Racers, formed last summer after beating former Elite League outfit Edinburgh Capitals to the ice-time contract at Murrayfield, are unbeaten in SNL competition, and forward Kyle Murray remains up-beat despite their struggles in the NIHL Cup.
Murray, who played for the Edinburgh Capitals SNL side last season, said: “The experience we’re gaining from this competition is second to none and the guys have been loving every minute. We were expecting it to be tough, we knew that from the word go.
“The season’s been fantastic, especially having (Racers Director of Hockey, and International Ice Hockey Federation hall of fame inductee) Tony Hand as coach, it’s great to have that experience; you couldn’t ask for anything better to be honest.
“We’re having more training sessions, and one-to-one sessions with Tony as he looks to see how he can bring more out of certain players. It’s a massive step from what we’re used to in the SNL, and it’s great encouragement for us as players to push forward.”
With experienced duo Martin Cingel and Callum Boyd, plus young Latvian defenceman Patriks Grigors, definitely still out of the line-up, Racers could have a tough night in Dumfries against the Sharks who include former Capitals Jordan McLaughlin, Kyle Horne and Iain Bowie in their ranks.
Murray said: “We’re short of guys, so some of us are being played more than we would normally expect.
“We’ve had a hard week in training as we look to improve on last weekend and the mistakes we made, and we’re looking to achieve something positive form the game tomorrow.”