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Weekend Preview – Week 17

WEEK 17 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and the Flyers are at home for the opening game of the weekend on Saturday night as they host the Guildford Flames for the second time in league play this term. On Sunday they make the trip to the Midlands for their final regular season meeting of the season at the Skydome against the Coventry Blaze who have only a one game weekend.

SATURDAY JANUARY 13th v GUILDFORD FLAMES @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 7.15pm

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This will be the Flames second visit to the Auld Barn this season on league business and after the Flyers won the opening league match at home on 21st October by blanking the Flames 3-0 Guildford have won the following two encounters on their home ice. Add to that two wins in the Challenge Cup quarter finals in the first half of December and the Flames are riding a four game winning streak against the Flyers coming into this game. Since the second leg meeting on December 13th the Flames have won seven of their last ten games. A 3-0 reverse in Nottingham is the only other time they have been shutout so far this term but they followed that up the next night by turning the tables on the Panthers at the Spectrum where they won 6-2. It was back to back meetings against the Coventry Blaze the weekend before Christmas and 3-2 road win was followed up with a comfortable 5-1 home ice win. On Boxing Day they lost 4-3 after a shootout in Manchester but the next night at home they recorded their second shutout of the season, their other being against Fife, with a 5-0 win. The last weekend of the year saw a pair of very fine wins against the Cardiff Devils who they beat 4-3 at the Spectrum before going to the Vindico Arena and returning with a 6-2 decision. Last weekend they travelled to Nottingham on the Saturday night and got the two points against the Panthers with a 2-1 overtime decision before hosting the Stars on Sunday where they surrendered their four game unbeaten run losing 4-2. Since our last meeting the Flames have made one roster change with the addition of American Matt Tugnutt who started this season in the ECHL after playing last term in the Ligue Magnus.

Last League Visit from Flames

Overall Elite League Home Record Against Flames

P 15 W 7 L 8 F 44 A 45

Number Crunching

The Flyers shutout of the Flames in the league earlier this season is their only win in the last 12 meetings with Guildford in all EIHL competitions.

The Flyers top goal scorer against the Flames this term is Kyle Osterberg with two goals – the Flyers have had seven different scorers of their eight goals scored so far. The Flames top marksman is Peter Crinella with four goals and the Flames have eight different scorers of their 13 goals.

The Flames are second only to the Sheffield Steelers in the number of goals scored on the powerplay across all competitions this season.

The Flames are the only team yet to score a short handed goal this season.

Flames are the only active EIHL team without a hat trick scorer against the Flyers.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.61 goals per game with 3.14 being the Flames average. Flames have conceded an average of 2.97 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.69.

Pic Credit Jillian McFarlane and Derek Young

SUNDAY JANUARY 14th v COVENTRY BLAZE @ SKYDOME ARENA – FACE OFF 5.30pm

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Flyers last meeting with the Blaze was on December 2nd when Coventry returned south with the two points following a 4-2 win. The next night Blaze made it a four point weekend with a 3-2 shootout against the Cardiff Devils at the Skydome. The following weekend saw a home doubleheader and they picked up a further two victories with an overtime win against the Belfast Giants and a 3-1 decision against the Nottingham Panthers. The following Saturday in Glasgow saw another close decision go their way with an overtime win against the Clan before the two teams met again 24 hours later in Coventry when the Blaze made it seven wins in a row in league play. The weekend before Christmas and the Guildford Flames halted that run with back to back wins and an 8-0 Boxing Day trouncing at the Vindico Arena from the Cardiff Devils was followed by a similarly heavy defeat the next night as Blaze crashed 7-3 to Cardiff in the Midlands. To finish the year the Blaze picked up consecutive wins against the Nottingham Panthers and they started the New Year last weekend with a couple of low scoring games as they prevailed 2-1 after overtime in Dundee before losing by the same scoreline in regulation at home against Manchester. The Blaze also won through to the Challenge Cup semi-finals where they will meet the Sheffield Steelers after a 1-1 draw at home to the Giants and a come from behind 5-4 shootout win at the SSE eliminated the Cup holders. The Blaze have also made one roster change since our last meeting with the return of Johnny Curran last weekend after his departure from the Belfast Giants.

Last League Visit to Blaze

Overall Elite League Away Record Against Blaze

P 28 W 9 L 19 F 72 A 93

Number Crunching

The Flyers are looking to sweep the series with the Blaze at the Skydome this season, a win will be their third consecutive and will tie their best sequence of results in all EIHL competitions on Blaze ice.

The Flyers top goal scorer against the Blaze this term is Johan Eriksson with four goals – the Flyers have had eight different scorers of their 16 goals scored so far. The Blaze top marksmen are Kobe Roth and Alessio Luciani each with three goals and Coventry also have eight different scorers of their 14 goals.

The Blaze and Stars are the only two teams yet to post a shutout this season.

The Blaze have given up the most goals at even strength in all competitions this season but are second only to the Steelers in goals given up on the penalty kill.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.61 goals per game with 2.8 being the Blaze average. Blaze have conceded an average of 3.4 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.69.

Pic Credit Coventry Blaze
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