Match Report – Sunday 10th September 2023

The Fife Flyers and Dundee Stars resumed their preseason rivalry at Dundee Ice Arena 24 hours after the Stars Overtime victory in Kirkcaldy. The home line up was unchanged from the previous night and was at full strength whilst the Flyers welcomed back Reece Harsch after he sat out the second half of last night’s match. The healthy scratches were once again forward Casey Gilling and blueliner Aleksi Mäkelä whilst James Spence was also missing as he was on duty with the Kirkcaldy Kestrels. The game whilst not quite matching the same physical intensity as last night did however open with the same lively pace and Stars Tommy Parrottino was binned for a trip after only 77 seconds. The Flyers set up camp in the Stars zone for pretty much the entire two minutes without getting the look they were after at Kevin Carr.  Stars responded after killing the penalty and really dominated the next phase of the game. Josh Brittain was denied by a huge glove save from Shane Owen as he fired top shelf from the high slot and by the halfway mark of the period Owen had produced a double save from Chris McKay and Drydn Dow slipped one past the post when he was left wide open in front of the Fife netminder. Flyers broke up the ice and Max Humitz was denied by Carr who quickly closed his angle. Dundee should have gone on their first man advantage when Reece Harsch was called for cross checking but this was negated when Johnny Walker piled in to pick up a roughing minor. Dundee continued to create the better chances and Brendan Harms should have done better when once again the Flyers left an opponent wide open in the slot but Owen was there to bail them out.  At 16:18 Sean Allen initiated an altercation with Ben Hawerchuk with the Fife player eventually accepting the invitation and both players sat for five minutes for fighting without any clean punches being thrown. The Flyers slightly against the run of play opened the scoring when Johan Eriksson got goals in consecutive games against his old side with assists going to Max Humitz. Seconds later Fynn Page and Johnny Walker gave a spirited tilt with both getting the customary five minutes for their troubles.

Into the second period and Collin Shirley nearly doubled the lead when he went in all alone but dragged his shot wide of the net. The second Fife goal was only delayed and in the 23rd minute exactly Anthon Eriksson went to the net and a pass from Teemu Pulkkinen ended up behind Carr with the final touch looking to be off the Fife forwards skate. A lengthy goal review didn’t conclude there was a kicking motion and the goal stood. Just over two minutes later and the visitors were rampant as Pulkkinen again was the provider with his shot rebounding from Carr’s pads to land at the stick of Ben Hawerchuk who gratefully found the yawning cage.

Stars desperately needed to turn the tide and Jonathan McBean almost got them on the board but his shot hit the inside of the post before bouncing clear. A Stars power play with Anthon Eriksson sitting for a slash was fairly comfortably killed by Fife as play became very scrappy in the final minutes of the period. Clearly both teams with their preseason legs.

The first shot in the final period that Kevin Carr faced was from his own Captain Dow who miscued on an attempted pass around the back of the net. Stars cause was not helped by Allen taking a misconduct penalty as he tried to goad Fynn Page into a fight at a face off. From the resultant power play the Flyers forced some scrambles around the Dundee net but nothing clean was set up. Back at even strength Pulkkinen was denied by a fine leg save by Carr and moments later almost a replica save from Owen stopped Josh Brittain. Another penalty on the Stars with nine minutes remaining saw Inglis binned for interference allowing the Flyers to manage the clock. A little bit of slackness crept into Fife’s play as they weren’t getting the puck out of their own zone as cleanly as they had done for the majority of the game but again tiredness in both teams was by now clearly a factor. Into the final minute and a moment for Fynn Page to remember as he drove the high slot and with his stick down he directed a cross ice pass from Pulkkinen in behind Carr for his first ever Flyers goal. Shane Owen recorded his third exhibition shutout to add to his twelve in competitive action for the Flyers. The performance of Fynn Page and Brodie Kay who was given his first ever ice time for the Flyers was singled out at the end of the match by Head Coach Tom Coolen who was once again satisfied with what he saw and is ready to get back at things after a well-earned day off tomorrow.

The Flyers are next at home on Saturday 16th September against the Tilburg Trappers  – tickets can be bought online here:  Tickets – Fife Flyers or look out on social media channels for box office opening times this week.