Match Report – Sunday 26th November 2023

The Flyers first long trek of the season down to Cardiff Bay to meet the Devils who were without Sam Duggan and Chad Pietroniro. The home team started Ben Bowns in net with both he and Tyler Wall taking their share of the seven goals conceded the night before against Guildford. The Flyers swapped in Reece Harsch for Stephen Desrocher, Brodie Kay, James Spence and Fynn Page were missing and after his heavy collision with the boards the previous night Kyle Osterberg missed his first game of the season with Casey Gilling coming back in.

Devils came flying out of the traps and immediately had Fife in trouble in their own end and drew the games first powerplay after just 22 seconds.  Shane Owen was looking very sharp and had solid saves from Cole Sanford and Trevor Cox and as the penalty expired pulled off a flashy glove save to deny Jamie Arniel. In the 4th minute Cody Donaghey skated right down the gut and once again Owen flashed the leather.  Having played almost exclusively in their own end the Flyers first shot at goal came in the 6th minute from Brady Pouteau from distance but it was gloved by Ben Bowns. Moments later Collin Shirley and Teemu Pulkkinen had an odd man rush that was broken up the Devils who then went the other way and opened the scoring when Cole Ully sniped the top corner over the blocker of Owen. It was a well deserved goal given the start the Devils made but from that point the Flyers started to grow into the game. Casey Gilling forced Bowns to look sharp and in the 12th minute Ben Hawerchuk almost barrelled in on the Devils netminder but the play was broken up by a Devils stick. The Devils went on another powerplay and although they controlled the first 90 seconds in the Flyers with some slick passing their only dangerous effort came from a long drive from Marcus Crawford that was well saved by Owen. Flyers forays into Devils ice became more prominent although they weren’t able to carve out any grade A chances and a pad save by Bowns from an Aleksi Mäkelä shot from the blueline was the closest they came to getting back on level terms.

The Devils had the first chance of the second period in the opening minute when Arniel was denied by Owen who recovered to get back in his net after playing the puck. In the 23rd minute Riley Brandt set up Ben Davies at the top of the crease but he couldn’t supply the finish. Lucas Chiodo and Anthon Eriksson collided and crashed into the boards with the big Swede staying down for a moment but he was able to return on his next shift. Owen produced a huge stop on Brandt and the Flyers broke the other way with Teemu Pulkkinen being interfered with as he was clean through on Bowns with a penalty shot being awarded. Pulkkinen took the resulting shot but Bowns was able to get his blocker on his effort. Moments later Owen denied Joey Martin as he streaked through the Flyers defence. The Flyers went on their first power play in the 31st minute but couldn’t get anything clean set up although in the final seconds they almost get the leveler in a scramble around Bowns net with both Casey Gilling and Pulkkinen going close. As the Devils returned to full strength the Flyers were called for too many men and the Cardiff powerplay went back to work again controlling the puck in the Fife end before eventually it was blasted past Owen by Cole Sanford. Within seconds of restarting the Flyers took another infraction and the Devils again had the man advantage. Pulkkinen carried the puck up ice and just failed to connect with Collin Shirley on a shorthanded bid and as the Devils came the other way Brady Pouteau had a huge block to save a certain goal as Brandon Alderson had a gaping net to shoot at. The same player came close again with 90 seconds remaining when his shot snuck through Owen but missed the far post. In the final minute Arniel dangled his way through the Fife defence but Owen again stood tall.

Devils picked up where they left off and 15 seconds into the final period Sanford had a chance on the backhand but sent it wide. The killer third for the Devils did arrive though inside of the opening minute and Cole Ully with all sorts of time showed great patience to take the puck around Owen and slot it home. Devils kept the foot on the gas and three minutes later added another when Joey Martin retrieved the puck behind the net and skated out front to beat Owen who was given no protection once again. In the 45th minute Josh Waller was denied by Owen as the Devils were relentless on the Fife defence. In a brief moment of respite Reece Harsh tested Bowns with a shot from distance and then Anthon Eriksson in close was stopped by the GB goalie. It was pretty much one way traffic however and the Devils added a fifth with a little over six minutes to go when Arniel had time behind the net to pick out a pass and Ully buried it to bag his hat trick. In the 55th minute Lucas Chiodo saw a shot shouldered over the bar by Bowns but the Devils kept coming and added another when Waller saw his shot creep in past an unsighted Owen with what looked like a ricochet off a Flyers player. Devils finished the final minute of the game on the powerplay and Ryan Barrow hit a post as they over elaborated but with the game convincingly won.

The Flyers are next at home on Saturday 2nd December 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.