North Ayrshire Wild u19s have booked their place in the Scottish Cup Final 22/23 with one of the most exciting games of Ice Hockey we have seen for a while. With end-to-end action from the first puck drop the fans of both teams were in for an entertaining evening.
Kilmarnock struck first in the 5th minute with a strike from Lewis Grant assisted by Innes Gallacher much to the dismay of the home fans. Kilmarnocks lead was doubled when Innes Gallacher set up Thomas Sutherland on the 14th minute of the game.
Wild then gifted Kilmarnock with a powerplay as Liam Houston was called for tripping. A strong D line killed off the penalty with ease, but still trailed by 2 goals to nil as the 1st period came to an end.
Into the second period and within 2 minutes Wild had their own powerplay as Thomas Sutherland (high sticking) and Fraser Craig (Interference) found themselves in the penalty box. However, Thomas Sutherland’s was cut short as Lewis McCrindle released Dylan Murray to pull a goal back on the 23rd minute. Captain Luca DeSimone pulled it level 5 minutes later when he backhanded the puck into the net with the assist going to Kyle Forsyth. Wild were now in the ascendancy and piled the pressure on the Kilmarnock netminder Harry Campbell, but Harry was on his game tonight and held the attacks at bay.
Another powerplay for Wild 2 minutes before the end of the 2nd period saw Dylan Murray bag his 2nd of the night as Torin Anderson was in the box for tripping which brought the period to an end at 3-2 to the home side.
A fresh sheet of Ice down and we were ready to get the 3rd period underway. Like the 2 periods previous it was a tense affair as both teams were looking to make headway in the game, but it was to be a stroke of luck that got Kilmarnock back into the game when Liam Houston was sitting a misconduct penalty as Scott McLintock’s shot slides under Evan McTaggart’s stick and into the net, much to the dismay of the Wild players. Some words of encouragement from Lewis McCrindle brought Evan back to his crease determined to keep everything else out. Liam Houston then found himself back in the box for a 2+2 penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but once again the powerplay was killed off.
Liam returned to the ice with 53:48 on the clock and with the assistance of Lewis McCrindle he put the puck in the net with 54:26 on the clock to make it 4-3. 36 seconds later the ever-present workhorse of Dylan Murray bagged his hat trick with an unassisted goal to end the game 5-3 to North Ayrshire Wild!
The Final will be played at Linx Arena in Aberdeen on Saturday 15th April.
View more info on North Ayrshire Ice Hockey here: Ice Rink – KA Leisure