Ladies and gentlemen, it’s back, it’s hockey time, and first up for the Fife Flyers in their 80th season is two Challenge Cup matches.
Saturday night saw the Flyers play their newest arch rivals the Glasgow (formerly Braehead) Clan. Last season saw the Flyers finally beat the Clan to the conference title. On Sunday the Flyers faced the Belfast Giants.
This season sees the Clan again changing coaches, out goes John Tripp and in comes former MK Lightning and current GB coach Pete Russell.
The players: Gary Russell, Josh Grieverson, Michal Gutwald, Zach Sullivan, Matt Haywood and Craig Peacock all return,
New additions: Joel Rumpel, Jordan McLaughlin, Lewis Baldwin, Travis Ehrhardt, Matt Stanisz, Tyson Wilson and the clan also welcome back Zach Fitzgerald who will captain the side, Rasmus Bjerrum, Brendan Connolly, Josh Gratton, Gerard Hanson, Vaclav Stupka, Scott Tanski and returning to the clan are Matt Beca and Scott Pitt.
Versus clan last year fife won all but one.
The clan have played four pre-season matches lost 3 and won 1.
Well Saturday night’s game came and went in a flash. Fife Flyers as usual stormed out the gates and controlled the first period and it didn’t take long for Evan Bloodoff to pick-up where he left of last year scoring against the Clan.
By the 10 minute mark it was 2-0 with Evan Stoflet getting his first goal for Fife, and that was all the scoring in the first period.
In to the second and the Clan were better. They came more in to the game but Fife still had chances including two 1 on 1’s and both times failed to hit the target. End of the second, it was still 2-0 Fife but should have been so much more.
In to the third and Clan were the better team scoring two quick goals one of which was a poeerplay goal off of one of the new faceoff rules.
The score was 2-2 and with just over 8 minutes left the Flyers took the lead again. Bloodoff with his second of the night put Fife back in front 3-2, but then clan came back and with 58:47 played.
The Clan were 4-3 in front, Fife went for the six skaters and managed to draw a penalty and with 17.1 secs left Fife began the PP.
With the last touch of the puck the Flyers scored sending the auld barn in to melt down and as the roof lifted off the place it was 4-4 and going to over time.
In the over time period there were no goals. The game went to penalties, and Fife eventually came out winners after sudden death penalites. The auld barn was almost full to bursting. Both sets of fans did a great job supporting their teams and it was a great but somewhat nervous night at times. What a great game to start the season off with. It had everything.
On Sunday, the Flyers entertained the Belfast Giants and coach Adam Keefe, keen for his boys to get off to a good start and have a good campaign this season.
Firstly, Stephen Murphy and Andrew Dickson return and also joining them is last year’s Edinburgh capitals goalie, Tyler Beskorowany.
In defence Garside returns for his 9th season with the club and also back is Jim Vandermeer, the new D men are Guillaume Gelinas, Curtis Leonard, Kendall Mcfaull, and joining the giants is Paul Swindlehurst.
Upfront Matt Towe and Colin Shields return along with Blair Riley, Dustin Johner, Darcy Murphy, Jonathan Ferland, the new guys are Kyle Baun, Francis Beauvilier, Hunter Bishop, Patrick Dwyer and coming in from MK is Lewis Hook.
Versus the giants last year
CC – giants won both / and over 2 legs in the quarter final.
League – giants won all but one.
Pre-season – 2 wins
So this weekend the Flyers will be looking to continue where they left off last season versus the Clan but this year I feel they need to be better against the bigger, so called Arena, teams like the Giants.
As always it will be a tough ask but I think most Fife fans believe a tougher team this year will keep some of those games closer and hopefully we can steal a few more wins.
Not as big a crowd and not a great performance by the Flyers, they were missing Basaraba through injury and from what I know not the greatest of games by the Flyers.
The Giants took the lead at 11:49 in the first period and that was the scoring in the 1st.
The Giants made it 2-0 after 32 minutes end of the 2nd period and the score was 2-0.
In to the 3rd and with almost 15 minutes left the giants made it 3-0.
The game was over at that point. Scott Aarssen scored his first goal for the Flyers with 6 minutes to go and that was all the scoring.
So, the giants win 3-1 and take a perfect first weekend record away with them.
As for the Flyers one win and one loss. Not a bad start, still think a few guys need to up their game and also a few need to do more work to get the fans on side but hopefully that will come, so onwards and upwards to next weekend