Match Report – Sunday 19th November 2023

The Flyers made three changes to their roster from the previous night’s game against the Blaze with Stephen Desrocher, Brodie Kay and Anthon Eriksson returning and Reece Harsch and Casey Gilling dropping out. Coventry made one change swapping starting netminders with Nolan Kent coming in and Taran Kozun dropping out.

The game started brightly for the home side and 69 seconds in the Flyers had the lead when Collin Shirley swiveled to sweep a loose puck home from the top of the crease. Their advantage was almost doubled in the 4th minute when a Stephen Desrocher drive from the tops of the circles clanked the iron. The Blaze who had barely been seen as an attacking threat leveled the game up in the 6th minute when they caught the Flyers on an odd man rush and Danny Kristo fed the puck to David Clements was able to beat Shane Owen despite the Fife netminder getting a piece of the puck. The game at this stage had all the hallmarks of being an old fashioned shootout but both teams soon settled into a rhythm of hit on the break but be defensively responsible. The Flyers had the first man advantage of the night in the 9th minute but the two minutes came and went without any real troubling moments for Nolan Kent in the Blaze net. The Flyers did however regain their lead in the 13th minute when Ben Hawerchuk corralled a loose puck and he picked out Lucas Chiodo at the back post who had the whole net to fire the puck into. A minute later and the home goal had a narrow escape as Jack Hopkins almost connected with the puck in a scramble around Owen’s crease, any touch would have ended in a goal. With 30 seconds of the period remaining the Flyers went back onto the powerplay but a fairly even period of play ended with no further goals.

It was a huge kill for the Blaze to start the second and Kent played his part when he absolutely robbed Kyle Osterberg with an amazing glove save, play raged on for a further couple of minutes and at the next stoppage referee Alan Craig initiated a review to ensure that the netminders glove wasn’t behind the line, the on ice call was upheld. The Blaze were on the power play moments later and David Clements absolutely rang one off the post with a wicked slapshot. 30 seconds later and the Flyers, who scored shorthanded against the Blaze the previous night, almost repeated the feat but Teemu Pulkkinen was denied by a smart pad save by Kent. After returning to full strength the Flyers were almost immediately back on the penalty kill as the Blaze looked to tie the game. The visitors got very little set up and the Flyers returned to even strength. In the 29th minute the Blaze were back on level terms thanks to a great piece of individual play by Kobe Roth who took the puck from behind the net and in a “Michigan” move he had the puck on the blade of his stick and in midair was able to wrap his stick around the front of the net to force the puck into the net off Owen. A goal that surely will be the leading contender for goal of the week. The Flyers were soon back on the powerplay and Osterberg had a drive from the high slot turned away by the pads of Kent who was called into action after Blaze returned to full strength when twice in quick succession he denied efforts by Hawerchuk. With a little over three minutes of the period remaining the Flyers got their noses in front again when Johan Eriksson was on hand to force the puck home after Osterberg had driven the net and was tripped on the play. Blaze challenged the goal for interference on the goalie but after review the goal was upheld and the Flyers went back onto the powerplay as Blaze were assessed a delay of game for the unsuccessful challenge. The man advantage created one decent chance when Johan Eriksson forced a nice save from Kent.

Into the final period and Shane Owen made his best save of the night as he slid post to post to make the save. It was a keenly contested period with the Flyers playing conservatively with the lead and trying to ensure they didn’t give up any cheap chances. Neither of the goalies were called into serious action but with a little over three minutes remaining the visitors stunned the home support when following an icing call against the Flyers Alessio Luciani converted from close range when the puck bounced off the side of the net and squirted out in front of Owen. 18 seconds later and the Flyers were back in front again. Stephen Desrocher unloaded from the left wing at the tops of the circles, the puck hit a Coventry player and zipped across the face of the Blaze goal and Osterberg on the top of the crease had his stick on the ice and was able to fire it home.

With two minutes remaining Blaze called a timeout and withdrew Kent with a face off in the Flyers defensive zone. There were a number of scrambles and puck battles and a couple of times the Flyers were able to clear their zone but crucially they kept the Blaze to the outside and Owen wasn’t called upon to make any saves of any difficulty as eventually the clock wound down with a battle along the boards in the corner.

Note the above SOG exclude first period shots due a technical issue and shots will be updated in due course

The Flyers are next at home on Saturday 25th November when they entertain the Manchester Storm – tickets can be bought online here:  Tickets – Fife Flyers or look out on social media channels for box office opening times.