ICE HOCKEY: Depleted Ayr target record unbeaten run

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JIM LYNCH, coach of the Ayr Scottish Eagles, has vowed to bring in two new faces by the start of the year in an attempt to bolster his side's Superleague title challenge.

Ayr are the in-form team going into this weekend's double header against Nottingham Panthers today and then at home to the leaders, London Knights, tomorrow as they have won six and drawn one of their last seven games. Victory or a draw for the Eagles at Nottingham will see them set a club record for their longest unbeaten league run.

Lynch surprisingly attributes his team's success to an injury crisis which sees him without Mark Montanari, Ryan Kummu and Mike Bishop. With the recent departures of John Varga and Louis Dumont, Lynch has just 13 skaters plus two netminders available. "We are running a bit thin on numbers, but it means the guys that are playing are relishing the ice time and that's bringing the results. That's okay for the short term. But in the long term, and not wishing to be negative, you will eventually take a fall.

"So I'm looking around for one or two new players. We are short of money because our crowds have been down, but if we build up the squad then I wouldn't rule us out of the equation in the league. I think any one of five teams can win it right now."

Despite being bottom, Nottingham are unbeaten in their last three home games since Alex Dampier took over as coach, but Panthers have yet to win any of the four games with Ayr this season. Nottingham then play Cardiff tomorrow looking for their first away win in the league since February. Also tomorrow, Bracknell travel to Newcastle.