WEEK 2 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season with the Flyers facing last season’s Grand Slam winners the Belfast Giants on Saturday before making their first road trip outside of Scotland on Sunday when they meet the Coventry Blaze.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30th v BELFAST GIANTS @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE Off 7.15pm
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The Giants campaign, once again, started much earlier than all other EIHL clubs as the Giants were the UK’s sole representative in this seasons Champions Hockey League competition. It was a tough start with Belfast playing their opening three games on the road which included back to back games in Finland against Lukko Rauma and Tappara Tampere. The first game was in the balance until a late empty net goal secured a 3-1 win for the home side but the following night the Giants were blanked 6-0 at the Nokia Arena. Five days later and their wanderings took the Giants to Austria to meet Innsbruck and it was another close game with the Giants falling 2-1. Home at last two days later, the Giants welcomed Italian side Bolzano to the SSE Arena with both teams looking to pick up their first points of the season. Giants overpowered their visitors to take the win with a 4-0 scoreline. Before starting the domestic season the Giants have already had some injury adversity losing Elijiah Barriga for the season and only welcoming back Miles Gendron last weekend after he went down in the opening CHL game. The Giants enter this weekend, which starts tonight (Friday) with a game in Glasgow, with two wins from their opening Challenge Cup matches against the Dundee Stars. Their ten goals scored leads all teams after the opening two games and the three goals conceded is only matched by Sheffield.
Last Challenge Cup Visit from Giants
Overall Challenge Cup Home Record Against Giants
P 13 W 2 L 1 F 25 A 47
The Flyers have had a tough stretch of results against the Giants who are currently riding a 10 game winning streak at Kirkcaldy and have been victorious over the Flyers in the last 21 meetings between the sides.
Ten consecutive home losses to the Giants is tied with a similar run against the Sheffield Steelers as the Flyers worst run against a single team in the EIHL on home ice.
21 consecutive losses is the worst sequence against any team in the EIHL era.
The Flyers last success at home to the Giants was on November 30th 2019 when they came up big with a 5-1 win with goals from Tim Crowder, Kyle Just, Danick Gauthier and two from Carlo Finucci – earlier that season Flyers also recorded their last home Challenge Cup win with an equally comfortable 5-2 win.
The last meeting between the two sides was of course the Challenge Cup Final in Belfast last March.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st v COVENTRY BLAZE @ SKYDOME ARENA – FACE Off 5.30pm
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The Blaze were one of four teams last weekend to get both their league and Challenge Cup campaigns underway in their two games. On the road on Saturday night they returned home with a league point against the Sheffield Steelers following a 3-2 overtime loss. On Sunday night at the Skydome they defeated the Cardiff Devils 4-2 in their opening Challenge Cup game. Ian McNulty with a couple of goals is their leading scorer going into the weekend.
Last League Visit to Blaze
Overall League Away Record Against Blaze
P 26 W 7 L 19 F 59 A 107
Flyers will be looking to end their current seven game losing streak against the Blaze at the Skydome which is their longest winless streak in the Midlands in the EIHL era.
During that sequence they have been blanked three times including on their last two visits. The other teams the Flyers have failed to score on in back to back road games in the EIHL are the Belfast Giants and Sheffield Steelers.
The Flyers have been outscored 23-7 in those seven games with their last win on Coventry ice being 14th September 2019 when Chase Schaber, Paul Crowder and a Danick Gauthier double secured a 4-1 win.
The Flyers are four goals short of 900 in all competitions on the road in the EIHL.