The Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan faced off for the first time this season in the league amidst the backdrop of the tragic events of last weekend. Ahead of puck drop both teams stood shoulder to shoulder around the circle at centre ice as the coaches jointly lead a wreath at centre. A video tribute to Adam Johnson was followed by an impeccably observed minutes silence before a minutes applause concluded the tributes.
The Flyers were without the injured Teemu Pulkkinen and scratched both Reece Harsch and Brodie Kay. The Clan were still without the injured Charlie Combs along with Matt Barry and scratched Jordan Buesa.
Flyers created the first chance of the game after 90 seconds when Anthon Eriksson tested Jake Kielly from close range. The game was very evenly poised with neither side having the momentum and there were very few whistles to stop play in the opening seven minutes as both teams sought the all important opening goal. In the 8th minute it almost went the way of the Clan when Reid Petryk tipped the puck in the high slot and it glanced Shane Owen’s far post. Neither side were in the mood to give up any cheap chances and the next clear opening on goal went to the visitors in the 13th minute when Nate Kallen had lots of time to measure a shot but he missed the net. A couple of minutes later and the Flyers got the opener which came from Casey Gilling who shot the puck from a bad angle and it somehow found a hole in Kielly to drop into the net. It was Casey’s first goal for the Flyers and gave them a narrow advantage at the first interval.
Clan went on the powerplay a couple of minutes into the second period but the Fife penalty kill was very good and Glasgow failed to even register a shot on Shane Owen. Shortly after the Flyers returned to full strength Lucas Chiodo had a breakaway and with only Kielly to beat he tried to fake the netminder out but Kielly didn’t bite and made the save. Clan went up the ice and Owen made a shoulder save from Jordan Cownie to preserve the lead. It was Flyers who were next with the man advantage following a too many men call against the Clan and they made it count. A nice pass found Kyle Osterberg around the hash marks and he hammered the puck home with a one timer. The look and point skywards was poignant. Chiodo was again sharp to dart in behind the Clan defence and this time elected to shoot but put the puck narrowly wide of goal. With the Flyers seemingly now in command of proceedings the game was turned on its head within a matter of 17 seconds. The Clan got a goal back from what looked like an offside play with the puck eventually scrambled home by Gary Haden and from the restart the Clan once again surged into the Flyers zone and Bryce Reddick fooled Owen with a backhand shot that fluttered home from the high slot. The Flyers steadied things down in the final four minutes of the period to leave it all to play for the in the final 20 minutes.
Anthon Eriksson came close to giving the Flyers the lead again three minutes in but he couldn’t convert in a scramble around Kielly’s goal. Flyers went on their second powerplay of the night but the Clan penalty kill prevented them from getting the puck set up. It was an evenly contested period and it always felt like the next goal would be decisive. With two and a half minutes remaining the Flyers looked to have the chance to win the game as they went back on the powerplay. The man advantage started with Johan Eriksson being denied by the save of the night as Kielly lunged from post to post to make a pad save on the Flyers one timer. The Fife powerplay was moving the puck around well and creating opportunities but the Glasgow penalty killers threw everything in front of their netminder to protect him. Back at full strength and with 15 seconds remaining the Flyers were then called for too many men. The Clan powerplay carried forward into overtime as regulation time expired.
Clan, with the 4 on 3 advantage, were denied on four occasions as the Flyers managed to win puck battles and clear their lines and with the powerplay winding down into the final 20 seconds the Clan once again gained the zone and this time controlled the puck and a drive from Bolton was deflected past Owen by Dyson Stevenson to give the visitors the extra point in what had been a highly competitive match.
The Flyers next home game will be announced shortly – tickets can be bought online here: Tickets – Fife Flyers or look out on social media channels for box office opening times.