Match Report – Friday 10th November 2023

This was the first league meeting of the sides this season and the Flyers were looking to end a five game losing skid and also aiming to extend their winning run against the Stars whom they had previously beaten in the two Challenge Cup encounters. Fife inserted Sean Giles into the line up for his debut and along with the injured Teemu Pulkkinen, Brady Pouteau and Brodie Kay were scratches. For the Stars there was no Sean Allen.

Flyers opened brightly and had the first meaningful shot in the game with a one timer from Kyle Osterberg finding the back of the net past Kevin Carr in a little under three minutes play. The Stars were on the powerplay in the 6th minute and after Shane Owen made a huge sprawling save post to post on Brett Beaudoin he could do nothing to prevent Spencer Naas scrambling the puck home from the edge of his crease 34 seconds into the man advantage. Thirty seconds later and it was the Flyers turn on special teams as they had their first powerplay and despite a lot of zone time and puck control they couldn’t fashion any clear cut chances to test Carr. It was an evenly contested game but the Flyers got their noses in from in the 12th minute after Carr spilled a shot by Aleksi Mäkelä and Collin Shirley was on hand to lift the puck into the net. Stars were back on the powerplay a minute later and Owen did a great job to deny the Stars an equalizer in a goalmouth scramble before the Flyers comfortably killed the remainder of the penalty which included them going close with a Max Humitz shot on a shorthanded bid. The period ended without any further scoring.

The Stars were level in the opening 80 seconds of the middle period as they caught the Flyers on a quick odd man rush when Anthony Rinaldi finished off the move. It was anyone’s game and the visitors stunned the home side midway through the period when once again they took advantage of an odd man rush although the attempted centering pass by Spencer Naas was unfortunately diverted past a helpless Owen by the back tracking Collin Shirey. A bad break for the Flyers but they hit back and Carr had to look lively from an Anthon Eriksson chance to retain the Stars advantage before the Flyers were once again on the penalty kill. The Stars got very little on net towards Owen and it was the Flyers who had the best chance shorthanded but a Shirley drive close in brought out a huge save from Carr in the visitors net. Having returned to even strength it was the Flyers who were next on the powerplay during which there were a succession of good quality shots on Carr, six in total, as Anthon Eriksson, Troy Lajeunesse (twice), Sean Giles, Casey Gilling and Jonas Emmerdahl all had bids denied by the Stars netminder who was looking ever more impressive as time wore on. Having survived, the Stars almost doubled their advantage with 90 seconds left when James Phelan, on another breakaway, saw his effort slide wide of the post. The game was all even again when Troy Lajeunesse ripped the puck low blocker on Carr, a fine snipe with 40 seconds left to play. Enough time for the Flyers to be assessed another penalty and it took Stars number 6, Drydn Dow, the same number of seconds to find the corner of the net to restore the visitors lead.

Into the third period and the early chances all went the way of the Flyers in the opening couple of minutes but Carr was comfortably equal to everything thrown his way. Shane Owen made his bid for his customary place in the save of the week highlight reel when he somehow got his glove to a Brendan Harms shot who could only look up at the rafters. Could this prove to be a pivotal moment?  If it was then the Flyers had to kill back to back penalties in quick succession. They did a good job on the first kill with Stars having no notable chances and when back at even strength Anthon Eriksson clanked a shot off the crossbar. On their subsequent man advantage however the Stars put daylight between themselves and the Flyers as Naas completed his hat trick. The Flyers almost scrambled a goal back when Carr spilled the puck but a Flyers stick couldn’t get the vital touch. Going into the final five minutes the home side were back on the powerplay. The pressure on the Dundee net finally told as Shirley was able to lift the puck into the net from the top of Carr’s crease. The Flyers piled on the pressure and with 85 seconds left the Stars were once again penalised as they defended desperately. Flyers called a timeout and the game restarted with Owen on the bench. It was frantic and rushed as Dundee put everything on the line to protect their lead and just as it looked as though the Flyers last chance had gone the puck found Johan Eriksson with five seconds remaining in the high slot and Carr was quick to get out of his crease and narrow the angle to make an incredible stop. The loose puck was cleared by Drydn Dow and it landed in the Flyers net with a couple of seconds remaining to ice the win for the Taysiders.

The Flyers are next at home on Sunday 19th November when they entertain the Coventry Blaze – tickets can be bought online here:  Tickets – Fife Flyers or look out on social media channels for box office opening times.