Match Report – Wednesday 25th October 2023

Flyers lined up at Nottingham without the scratched Reece Harsch and Troy Lajeunesse whilst the Panthers had some difficulties on the blueline without the services of American Jake Ryzcek and Brit Josh Tetlow resulting in them drafting forward Jordan Kelsall back into defence. In what was a wide open first twenty minutes both sides had a clutch of chances. Owen was first in action when Alexander Lunsjo tested him with just over 60 seconds played. Rok Stojanovic was called upon to make his first serious save when he shut down Lucas Chiodo. Panthers were creating a number of odd man rushes and Mathieu Lemay missed the net with a clear opening on Owen before Fife were called for too many men. It was a fairly comfortable kill for the Flyers and they managed to fashion a chance near the end when Collin Shirley was stopped by Stojanovic. Shane Owen came up with another massive save in the 9th minute when Otto Niemenen was fed a behind the net pass at the side of the crease but the Fife keeper got across to block. Flyers broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when Stephen Desrocher stepped in from the blueline and his shot from the high slot beat the Panthers keeper glove side. Another odd man rush for the Panthers saw them miss another chance whilst Lemay was once again denied by an outstretched save by Owen.  Fife responded when Max Humitz who was on the doorstep and was set up by Chiodo but his effort went just wide. The save of the night came at the other end with five minute left in the period when the Panthers went on their second powerplay and within ten seconds Owen again stopped Lemay with a fine save before the Flyers comfortably killed the remainder of the penalty to take a lead into the room.

The first big chance of the second period came two minutes in when Victor Bjorkung stepped onto the puck at the top of the slot but Owen smothered. In the 25th minute an escape for the visitors as Logan Neilson rang one off the far post. A mistake by Stojanovic almost lead to a Flyers goal but he recovered to stop Shirley’s back hand. The ice was tilting towards Owen in the visitors goal as the period wore on and when the Panthers went on their third powerplay they finally put the puck behind him after a nice triangular passing move left Hugo Roy with a wide open net and Owen had no chance. A little over three minutes later and the Flyers went behind when they were caught in their own end and with Max Humitz playing without a stick he couldn’t stop Carl Neill from stepping around him at the blueline and his shot found the corner of the net on Owen’s blocker side. The Flyers got their first man advantage moments later but couldn’t get anything set up and the period closed without further scoring.

The Flyers made a positive start to the final period and Collin Shirley had the first chance but just failed to knock home a bouncing puck. Panthers were penalized and the Flyers powerplay delivered when Kyle Osterberg feathered a puck to Anthon Eriksson in the circles who let rip with a one timer past Stojanovic. It was anyone’s game at this stage and Osterberg fired one off the shoulder of the Panthers netminder before Fife went back on the powerplay. The Panthers kill was hard pressed and despite controlling the puck in the attacking zone the Flyers just couldn’t find a clean chance but were thankful as the penalty wound down that Shane Owen was once again at his best as he robbed Johnson on a breakaway. A couple of non-calls saw Teemu Pulkkinen barrel in for a chance after what looked like a trip on a Panther and then he appeared to be hooked as he tried to get his shot away. Panthers regained the lead with three minutes remaining when they capitalized on a turnover by the Flyers at their blueline and Didrik Henbrant buried the chance. As time wound down the Flyers buzzed around the Panthers zone and Owen was pulled for the extra attacker but the Panthers stood firm and when the chance arose Westin Michaud shot the puck from his own blueline into the empty cage. In the final ten seconds Flyers coach Tom Coolen was assessed two game misconducts and was ordered from the bench.

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.