The Aberdeen Lynx ice hockey team are preparing for a tough battle as they head north to Elgin for the first leg of their Scottish Cup tie against Moray Typhoons.
A smaller rink and a fiery Typhoons nearly saw the Lynx undone when they last headed up the A96 in September, having to fight back from two quick goals.
And it’s expected today’s game will be no different, with the Typhoons hoping to make the most of the home-leg advantage and their first game in front of a home crowd this year.
Key for the Lynx will be to give a solid showing, control the game and keep discipline to ensure they head into next weekend’s second leg on a high – something Lynx boss Owen Reynolds will surely be impressing on his squad.
Reynolds said: “The smaller ice pads bring their own set of problems with very little space and time.
“Moray Typhoons are known for their gritty style of hockey, so our recent trips to Kilmarnock at the tail-end of the year and last week’s home game against Kilmarnock Storm should serve as good preparation.
“Over the years we’ve come to know what to expect at Moray but the opportunity to advance in the Scottish Cup will no doubt give the tie an added edge.
“The Typhoons felt like they should have got more from our fixture at the start of the season, and we found ourselves in a position where we needed to claw back a deficit. So I fully expect a tight game.
“Discipline will also be a key factor, especially with the tie being over two legs.
“The main thing for us will be ensuring the scoreline stays close ahead of the return leg a week later in Aberdeen.”
Elsewhere in the SNL Scottish Cup, Kirkcaldy Kestrels will face off against Solway Stingrays and Kilmarnock Storm will play host to Dundee Comets.
North Ayrshire Wild will travel to Braehead to face up to Paisley Pirates.