A double header weekend will see the fitness of the Aberdeen Lynx squad tested to the max.
The Granite City outfit will face-off against visitors Kirkcaldy Kestrels in front of a sell-out crowd tonight.
The team and fans will then make the trip down to Braehead for the second leg of their Scottish Cup clash against Paisley Pirates – hoping to come back from 3-2 behind in the tie.
But coach Barry Carnegie is confident his players have what it takes to see off both last year’s league winners, Kirkcaldy, and overcome the first leg deficit against Paisley.
Carnegie said: “This is the first year we haven’t had any double-header weekends until this late in the season.
“The guys are all experienced enough to handle it.
“We’ve got good numbers for the weekend and I don’t think fitness will be an issue.
“Paisley showed last weekend they could handle two games and I don’t think we will be any different.”
The coach, however, is wary of the threat the young Kestrels team could pose.
He added: “The Kestrels have lost a few experienced players since winning the league last year.
“This season they’ve gone more with a younger team.
“They’re a good enough team and they will punish us if we start the game like we did against Paisley last week.
“I just hope that with the big crowd and the atmosphere up here, it has an effect on the young guys and works to our advantage.”
Less than 24 hours later the Lynx will take on league leaders Paisley in a bid to make it to the Scottish Cup semi-final.
But coach Carnegie is confident his team have what it takes to win.
“We definitely think we can come back against them. It only takes a second to score a goal,” he said.
“I think we will be extra motivated, especially if we get a good performance (tonight) and go down the road with our tails up.
“In terms of the league we play in, it’s not often you get close games like that.
“It just shows how evenly matched the two teams are.”
Cup defeat could have been even worse says coach
Aberdeen Lynx were lucky to come out of last weekend’s Scottish Cup game only one goal behind.
A poor first performance in the first period left the capacity crowd with their hearts in their mouths.
However, an important team talk from coach Barry Carnegie seemed to have the desired effect with the Lynx coming out all guns blazing in the second period.
Paisley opened the scoring with less than three minutes gone through Fraser Campbell, with Man of the Match David Orr making it 2-0 two minutes later.
Calum MacEachran pulled one back for the Lynx at the end of the first.
The second period saw the Lynx hit by a number of penalties, but the fired-up squad managed to hold back the Pirates.
A bad tempered-end to the period gave the Lynx a man advantage in the final session, with Jordan Leyden on hand to pull his side back level.
However, Pirate’s David Orr made it 3-2 with just more than 10 minutes to go.
Coach Carnegie, pictured, admitted the first period could have been a lot worse.
“We were lucky to go in only one goal down,” he said.
“We just didn’t show up, basically.
“We changed a few things between the periods, in terms of how we picked up their break-out and how we reacted to certain situations in our own end. So we were a lot better in the second period.
“In the third period when we came out with the five-minute powerplay, I felt we could have taken advantage of the game.
“But the game slipped away from us.”