WEEK 16 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and the Flyers enter a New Year with their second trip in the league to Belfast on Saturday night before returning home to welcome the Nottingham Panthers for their first visit of the season on Sunday.
SATURDAY JANUARY 6th v BELFAST GIANTS @ SSE ARENA – FACE OFF 7.00pm
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It is only a couple of weekends since the Flyers and Giants last met with a pair of games just prior to Christmas. The Giants won both to further extend their stranglehold on fixtures between the two clubs. On Boxing Day the Giants travelled to Glasgow where they picked up the points with a 5-2 win. A couple of nights later and the Clan reciprocated with their first win in Belfast for over five years and they did so with a 1-0 shutout. Last weekend the Dundee Stars visited the SSE on Saturday night and were blanked 3-0 before the return fixture on Hogmanay on Tayside where the Stars scored a couple of goals late in the game to take it beyond regulation and all the way to a shootout where the Stars scored their first three shots and Giants were denied three times.
Last League Visit to Giants
Overall Elite League Away Record Against Giants
P 26 W 2 L 24 F 50 A 131
The Giants have now gone 26 consecutive games without defeat in all EIHL competitions against the Flyers.
On home ice the Giants have won their last 17 meetings in all EIHL competitions against Fife who last won in the league at the SSE Arena on 17th March 2018 when a double from Charlie Mosey along with goals from Shayne Stockton, Peter LeBlanc and Carlo Finucci gave them a 5-2 success – that was 12 games ago.
The Flyers top goal scorers against the Giants this term are Lucas Chiodo and Teemu Pulkkinen with three counters each. Similarly with three goals the Giants top marksmen are Ara Nazarian and Quinn Preston who hit a hat trick on the Flyers last visit to the SSE.
The Giant have outscored the Flyers 19-10 in the five meetings so far this season.
SUNDAY JANUARY 7th v NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 5.15pm
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This will be the Panthers first visit to Kirkcaldy this season with the sides only meeting so far being on the 25th of October in Nottingham which the Panthers prevailed in by a 4-2 score. Following the tragic circumstances with Adam Johnson the Panthers have been trying to regroup and are playing catch up in the schedule with games in hand. Earlier this season in the Challenge Cup the Panthers played four games with a 1 and 3 record before making the decision to withdraw from the competition following their close down of fixtures as they dealt with events. The meeting with the Flyers was the Panthers 6th win in a row in league play having opened with a home defeat against the Manchester Storm. During that run they won in Guildford, Dundee and Glasgow and beat the Devils and Stars on home ice before their win against the Flyers. It would be over four weeks before their next league game as they restarted hockey following the fateful Sheffield game on October 28th. The Belfast Giants visited the Motorpoint on 26th November and won 4-2. The following week and Panthers won in Cardiff followed by three defeats against the Stars, Giants and Blaze. In back to back games against the Flames the points were shared with home wins for each side. Either side of Christmas and the Manchester Storm won both meetings followed by a pair of defeats to both the Sheffield Steelers and last weekend the Coventry Blaze which sees the Panthers enter this weekend on a seven game losing streak.
Last League Visit from Panthers
Overall Elite League Home Record Against Panthers
P 27 W 12 L 15 F 85 A 97
The Flyers won 4 of the 6 meetings between the teams last season although the Flyers have been outshot by the Panthers in their last seven meetings.
Looking at the goal differential of the teams across all EIHL competitions this season: Panthers are a -1 in period one a -11 in period two and -7 in period three. Flyers are -15 in the first a -17 in the second and -6 in the third period.
The Panthers will be aiming to break their seven game losing streak this weekend, the longest losing streak of all teams so far this season belongs to Flyers with eight games without a win.
Flyers have scored an average of 2.56 goals per game with 2.75 being Panthers average. Panthers have conceded an average of 3.58 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.70.