Match Report – Saturday 21st October 2023

The Flyers and Flames met for the first time this season with the visitors looking to snap a five game losing skid and the home side looking to avoid a third consecutive loss. The Flyers scratches for this one were Reece Harsh, Casey Gilling and Brodie Kay whilst for the Flames their new signing Austin Glover didn’t make the bench and they were also without Bradley Lalonde, Owen Griffiths, Lewis Hook and the injured Kobe Walker.

The first big chance of the game fell to the visitors when Ryan Tait burst through the middle of the ice to go in alone on Shane Owen who denied him when he shut down his five hole attempt. Fife settled into the game and they opened the scoring a little over the four minute mark when Eamon McAdam was guilty of giving up a juicy rebound from a Troy Lajeunesse drive and Kyle Osterberg fired the puck into the net from the left side face off circle. The visiting keeper once again looked unsteady when he failed to hold a Johan Eriksson shot and the puck was thankfully scrambled away from his perspective. Flames went on the games first powerplay when Teemu Pulkinnen was called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct for shooting the puck after the whistle but the Flames couldn’t get any momentum and the Flyers killed it with some ease. Shortly after returning to full strength Shane Owen robbed Logan Fredericks who broke in on a 2 on 0 but couldn’t beat the Fife keeper. Moments later Flames thought they had the game tied in the 12th minute but the play was reviewed and washed out for interference on Owen in his crease. The game at this stage had become a real track meet as both sides traded chances off the rush and it was the Flames who were looking the more dangerous but Owen stood his ground with no further goals before the period break.

Flyers started the second period on the penalty kill after a slashing call on Kyle Osterberg on the first period buzzer but in the main the Fife penalty kill was again very solid. However the Flames really put the pressure on after the teams returned to even strength and Owen was called upon to make some important saves. Coach Coolen has talked recently about timely goals and he got another one as the Flyers went on their first man advantage of the game when Ferguson was called for cross checking. 40 seconds in the Flyers fashioned a fine passing move involving Max Humitz and Collin Shirley and Ben Hawerchuk provided the one time finish from just below the hash marks. Flyers got a bit more of a foothold in the game off the back of the goal and in the 31st minute Lajeunesse fired the puck off McAdam’s face mask which required a lengthy repair at the next stop in the game. Flames had another powerplay after a delay of game call on Aleksi Mäkelä but once again Owen and the penalty killers did a real good job in restricting the chances for the visitors.  Flyer ended the period with a short 25 second powerplay which carried into the third period with a couple of offsetting penalties called on the buzzer.

Having left the bench during the second period Teemu Pulkkinen failed to return to the game and Fife failed to get anything set up with their man advantage. Flames had the next penalty for too many men and Fife were able to find an insurance goal when Troy Lajeunesse swept the puck home. With six minutes remaining Flames had their fourth powerplay of the game and once again Owen denied them an entry on the scoresheet with a couple of solid saves. The final three minutes of the game saw the Flyers on the powerplay and the highlight was a larcenous stop by McAdam on Collin Shirley – we are used to seeing Shane Owen in the EIHL saves of the week highlight package but this one will surely be hard to beat this weekend?

The Flyers are next at home on Sunday 29th October when they entertain the Sheffield Steelers   – tickets can be bought online here:  Tickets – Fife Flyers or look out on social media channels for box office opening times.


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