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Weekend Preview – Week 19

WEEK 19 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and the Flyers make their second visit of the season in league play to Dundee to meet the Stars on Saturday night before returning home to meet the Cardiff Devils who will also be visiting Fife Ice Arena for the second time this season.

SATURDAY JANUARY 27th v DUNDEE STARS @ DUNDEE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 7.00pm

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It’s just over a month since the Flyers and Stars last locked horns and it was a painful night for all concerned with the Flyers in Dundee post-Christmas. Following on from that lopsided win the Stars closed out the year with back to back games against the Belfast Giants. They were blanked 3-0 in Belfast before hosting the Giants on Hogmanay where they took both points after a come from behind shootout win. The following midweek they dropped a point at home to the Glasgow Clan in a shootout and a few days later another point was surrendered at home, this time in overtime as the Coventry Blaze won the day. The following night however they pulled off a fantastic road victory in Surrey against the surging Guildford Flames. The following weekend they turned the tables on the Clan in another three point game when they came out on top in overtime before going down 6-1 on the road to the league leading Sheffield Steelers. Last weekend saw another heavy defeat on the road when they lost 7-4 in Cardiff but they then returned to the Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday night to record a resounding 5-1 win against bottom of the table Nottingham Panthers meaning that the Stars have collected points in six of their last nine games. In league play coming into the weekend the Stars also have the top points scorer in Ryan Valentini with 38 points and also the top goal scorer in Spencer Naas who has 22 goals.

Last League Visit to Stars

Overall Elite League Away Record Against Stars

P 40 W 18 L 22 F 133 A 151

Number Crunching

Following Fife winning both of this seasons Challenge Cup games against the Stars the Flyers will be looking to stop a three game losing steak against Dundee in the league and get their first points of the season on the board against their Tayside rivals.

The Flyers top goal scorer against the Stars this term in all EIHL competitions is Collin Shirley with four goals and they have had eight different scorers of their 17 goals scored so far. The Stars top marksman is Anthony Rinaldi with eight goals and the Stars have eight different scorers of their 25 goals.

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

The Stars and Flyers share a goalscoring profile so far this season as they have both scored most of their goals in the third period whilst conceding the highest number of their goals in the second period.

Tied with the Blaze the Stars have most shootout goals so far this term with 5 and with only 1 conceded only the Blaze have a better record having yet to concede.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.65 goals per game with 3.16 being the Stars average. Stars have conceded an average of 3.62 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.7

Pic Credit Derek Young

SUNDAY JANUARY 28th v CARDIFF DEVILS @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 5.15pm

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The Devils make their second visit of the season to Kirkcaldy in what will be the third meeting between the sides this term. It’s one game each so far with the Flyers winning the last encounter in mid-December at the Auld Barn. Following that loss the Devils returned home to defeat the Glasgow Clan 4-1 on the Saturday before Christmas but the following day they were blanked 4-0 in Sheffield, the only game they have failed to score in so far this season. On Boxing Day they recorded their biggest win so far and their fourth shutout as the Coventry Blaze were shellacked 8-0 at the Vindico Arena. In another avalanche of goals the following night the Devils won 7-3 in Coventry. To round out the year the Devils played the Guildford Flames who won both games, a tight one goal affair at the Spectrum and then a comfortable 6-2 win on Devils ice. Into the New Year and the Devils won 4-1 in Manchester before they took another break from league action to host the Continental Cup final over the weekend of 12-14th January. They opened against Nomad Astana from Kazakhstan on the Friday and were always trailing as they lost 5-2. On the Saturday they defeated one of Tom Coolen’s previous clubs, Polish side GKS Katowice by a 3-2 scoreline. To round out the tournament they knew that a win against Danish side Herning Blue Fox would get them the silver medal as Nomad had run the table in their three games. The Danes won by the odd goal in seven. Last weekend the Devils picked up four points as they won 7-4 against the Dundee Stars at home  and on the Sunday travelled to Guildford where they prevailed in a shootout.

Last League Visit from Devils

Overall Elite League Home Record Against Devils

P 28 W 9 L 19 F 69 A 97

Number Crunching

The Flyers are looking to make it back to back home wins against the Devils, something they have only managed twice before in the EIHL era.

If they do so then it will also be the first time ever that Flyers have won consecutive games against the Devils in 60 games played in all EIHL competitions.

Devils have scored most of their goals in the second period and that’s the period that Flyers concede most.

Devils have the second most shutouts this term with four.

Devils ratio of powerplay goals scored to conceded is plus 1, for the Flyers it’s minus 9.

The Devils come in to the weekend as the second top scorers after Sheffield Steelers across all games this season. The Flyers have scored an average of 2.65 goals per game with 3.79 being the Devils average. Devils have conceded an average of 2.68 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.7

Pic Credit Jillian McFarlane and Derek Young
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