Rihards Grigors: Murrayfield Racers keen to break ice with higher calibre teams
Defenceman wants NIHL scalps to continue progress
Murrayfield Racers defenceman Rihards Grigors believes turning good performances into wins against National Ice Hockey League opposition would be a huge momentum boost for the club as they complete the group phase of the NIHL North Cup this weekend.
Racers travel to Billingham Stars tonight, before facing-off against a physical Whitley Warriors team at Murrayfield on Sunday (face-off 6pm), safe in the knowledge that their two wins over fellow Scottish National League side Dundee Comets is already enough to secure them a place in the semi-finals.
Despite some good performances in the competition, Racers have lost all four of their matches to-date against NIHL clubs and Grigors said: “I think we have played pretty well. In a couple of games the luck really wasn’t on our side, all the games have been close but we didn’t manage to get any points from the NIHL teams.
“Wins this weekend against them would be a huge momentum boost for us and it will be a great feeling when we do. We’ve already shown we can compete with these teams - the only thing missing has been a win.”
Grigors, who joined Racers midway through the club’s inaugural campaign last season and has previous Elite League experience with both Milton Keynes Lightning and Edinburgh Capitals, continued: “We need to concentrate and cut out the soft goals that are scored against us as a result of mistakes that we made. If we make fewer mistakes like that during games, it will make all the difference.”
That was certainly the case in Racers last NIHL North Cup match, away to Sunday’s opponents Whitley earlier this month. The Murrayfield-men were leading 2-1 at the game's half-way point, only to concede three goals in as many minutes, eventually losing 5-3.
Grigors concluded: “That game is one that definitely stays in the memory. They are a physical team and it was a physical match, but I thought we did well against them apart from a couple of soft goals.
“On Sunday we’ll have a very loud crowd that gets behind us and we have such big ice here at Murrayfield which is something we are used to. We’re really looking forward to that game."