(Image Credit: Fife Flyers)
The FiFab Fife Flyers got their 2016/17 Challenge Cup campaign underway on when Belfast Giants were the visitors to Fife Ice Arena on Saturday evening.
Flyers were without the injured Phil Paquet and Kyle Follmer, but Flyers welcomed Ric Jackman and James Isaacs for their first games in Flyers colours.
Flyers started the better of the sides in the opening period and got a much deserved opening goal when Stephen Gunn pounced on a loose puck in front of Stephen Murphy to put Flyers 1-0 up at 8:16. Flyers doubled their lead at 15:25 when a mix up with the Belfast defence and Stephen Murphy saw the puck squeeze behind the Belfast netminder, Sebastien Thinel was the last Flyers player to touch the puck and was credited with the goal.
Flyers weren't finished just yet in the opening period as David Turon made it 3-0 going in to the dressing room when he scored his first Flyers goal at 18:45.
Into the 2nd period and Belfast pulled a quick goal back after they capitalised on a power play, David Rutherford finally found a way to beat Shane Owen in the Flyers net.
Flyers were quick to reply and restored their 3 goal lead when Justin Fox picked out a pass from Russ Moyer to knock the puck beyond Stephen Murphy.
Giants got another goal when David Rutherford somehow managed to squeeze the puck behind Shane Owen in the Fife net, taking the teams in to the dressing room with Flyers leading 4-2.
Into the final period and Flyers soaked up pressure from Belfast and played a fantastic defensive period and when the chance came, Chase Schaber sealed the victory for Fife at 52:39 to make it a 5-2 Fife win.
FINAL SCORE: Fife Flyers 5 Belfast Giants 2
David Turon (1+1), Stephen Gunn (1+1), Sebastien Thinel (1+0), Justin Fox (1+0), Chase Schaber (1+0), Russ Moyer (0+1), Shayne Stockton (0+1), Brendan Brooks (0+1), Ryan Dingle (0+1)
Fife Man of the Match
19: Ryan Dingle
Belfast Giants Scoring:
David Rutherford (2+0), Brandon Benedict (0+1), James Desmarais (0+1)
Belfast Giants Man of the Match:
91: David Rutherford
Shots on Goal:
Shane Owen: P1 - 9, P2 - 14, P3 - 16 Total = 39
Stephen Murphy: P1 - 16, P2 - 7, P3 - 5 Total = 28
*Qualified for playoffs ^ EIHL Champions