WEEK 5 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and the Flyers having now completed their initial Challenge Cup fixtures turn their attention over the next few weeks to gathering league points and they meet a couple of teams for the first time. On Saturday the Guildford Flames visit Kirkcaldy whilst it’s a late afternoon meeting with the Sheffield Steelers the following day in Sheffield.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 21st v GUILDFORD FLAMES @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE Off 7.15pm
Recent Form Guide
The Flames start to the season has seen some bumps in the road and they head North this weekend having lost in each of their last five games. They also made some personnel changes this week when they released American forward Anthony Petruzzelli and brought in Canadian Austin Glover who last season played in France. Tonight is their first game on the road in the league, having had their opening four at the Spectrum. They opened with a 3-1 loss to the Sheffield Steelers whilst they then picked up a point in each of the next two as they went down to the Nottingham Panthers in a shootout and the then league leaders Manchester Storm won in overtime. Last time out in the league they were beaten 5-1 by the Belfast Giants. In the Challenge Cup their opening game was in Cardiff where the Devils prevailed 4-2 and they then entertained the Coventry Blaze to pick up their only win so far of the season. Last weekend they had a pair of games in the Challenge Cup as the fixtures above were reversed. Cardiff Devils won 6-3 on Saturday at the Spectrum whilst on the road in Coventry the next night the Flames were beaten 6-1. In each game a dominant second period from both opponents had a major influence in the outcome.
Last League Visit from Flames
Overall Elite League Home Record Against Flames
P 14 W 6 L 8 F 41 A 45
The scorer of the Flyers next goal will be their 2000th in all EIHL competitions – this excludes all shootout winners, a stat which has only been recorded since the 2019/20 season and so cannot be included across the Flyers entire EIHL record.
The Flames have won their last three games at Kirkcaldy which equals their best streak in all EIHL competitions.
The last Fife win against the Flames, who swept the Flyers in all six games last season, was 12th February 2022 at the Spectrum, that’s 7 games ago.
The Flames remain the only team in the league who have yet to score a hat trick scorers against the Flyers – the only hat trick between the sides was scored by Evan Bloodoff on 18th September 2018 at the Spectrum.
The last meeting of the two sides last season was on the final day of the regular season – the Flames banked the Flyers 5-0 at the Spectrum, their only shut out to date against Fife in the EIHL.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 22nd v SHEFFIELD STEELERS @ UTILITA ARENA – FACE Off 4.00pm
Recent Form Guide
The Steelers come into this weekend with a five game winning sequence following their midweek overtime win in Glasgow. They have lost only one game to date and currently sit top of the league standings. Across all EIHL competitions they lead the league with two shutouts in their 9 games played and have a league low goals per game against at 1.56. They are also best on the power play with 11 goals and have the most shots on goal per game ratio so far. Steelers opened the season with a 3-2 home win against the Coventry Blaze in the league and followed that up with a 3-1 win in Guildford the next night. Their only defeat came the following weekend when the Cardiff Devils won 3-2 at the Utilita Arena but since then they have won their next three, a 5-2 win in Coventry, at home to the Dundee Stars 3-0 and then 3-2 on Wednesday night in Glasgow. To date they have played three games in their Challenge Cup group where they have a 100% record, having scored six goals in each of their wins. 6-0 in Nottingham, 6-3 in Manchester and 6-1 at home to the Storm.
Last League Visit to Steelers
Overall Elite League Away Record Against Steelers
P 27 W 3 L 24 F 37 A 119
The Flyers were shutout on their last visit in the League to the Utilita Arena, that was followed the next night with another shutout at home to the Steelers who won 1-0 in a penalty shootout. The Flyers are then looking to avoid being shutout for three consecutive games against EIHL opposition for the first time.
The Steelers have a 12 game home unbeaten streak active against the Flyers with the last Fife success in Yorkshire in the league being 17th October 2018 when Evan Bloodoff, Brett Bulmer and Paul Crowder were scorers in a 3-1 win.
During this run the Steelers have outscored the Flyers 55-14.
Robert Dowd is the all-time leading scorer for the Steelers against the Flyers with 28 goals, the most of any active/inactive player against Fife in the EIHL.