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Weekend Preview – Week 20

WEEK 20 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and the Flyers have a home and home weekend against the Manchester Storm who they are chasing for a playoff spot.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3rd  v MANCHESTER STORM @ PLANET ICE ALTRINCHAM – FACE OFF 7.00pm

Recent Form Guide

The Flyers visit the Manchester Storm for the final time in regular season play this season before the two teams meet up again the following night in what will be the penultimate regular season meeting between the teams.

The sides last met at the start of December with the Storm recording a second shutout of the Flyers this term on their own ice. Since then the Storm were eliminated in the Challenge Cup quarter finals 10-2 on aggregate by the Sheffield Steelers. In the league Storm then went to Belfast for a doubleheader and in two very tight games they returned with a single point. The weekend ahead of Christmas they were again involved in a doubleheader match up this time home and home as they took maximum points from the Nottingham Panthers. On Boxing Day they defeated the Guildford Flames after a shootout but 24 hours later they were blanked by the Flames in Surrey. The Sheffield Steelers provided the opposition either side of the New Year with a season high 9-3 defeat dished out in Sheffield followed by a 4-1 loss at home to start 2024. The Cardiff Devils then left Altrincham with both points after a 4-2 win but the next night in Coventry the Storm picked up two points in a 2-1 win. Sheffield continued their dominance against their near neighbours the following Saturday and the Flames also beat the Storm the following night. Storm lost a third in a row against the Coventry Blaze before halting the slide with their biggest win so far this season, 7-3 at home against the Glasgow Clan. Last weekend saw the Storm pick up a huge four points after a 5-2 win in Glasgow and then shutting out the Nottingham Panthers at home on Sunday. The Storm have made several roster changes since their last meeting with the Flyers with three players coming in and three players moving on to pastures new. The outgoing trio were all forwards with Finn Santeri Haarala going to the German third tier, American Will Merchant returned to one of his previous clubs the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL and also returning to his native land was Dane Andreas Heier. The newcomers are goalie Logan Flodell who started the season in Poland. American Austin Farley left the Nottingham Panthers and someone who needs no introduction to Flyers fans is Zack Phillips who topped the scoring standings for the team last season with most goals (27), most assists (34) and most points (61), he started this season in the German third tier.

Last League Visit to Storm

Overall Elite League Away Record Against Storm

P 24 W 9 L 15 F 69 A 87

Number Crunching

The Flyers will be looking to avoid being shutout in three consecutive visits to Altrincham – this would a first against any opponent in the EIHL – Flyers have previously also been blanked in back to back games in Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry and Sheffield.

The Storm have won their last three on home ice against the Flyers and will be looking to sweep the Flyers at home this season which would be the first time in all EIHL competitions.

The Flyers will be looking to avoid losing four games in a row on the road against Manchester.

This will be the 50th meeting in all EIHL competitions with the Storm currently leading with 25 wins to Flyers 24.

The Storm still hold the record this season for fastest goal scored in a game which was against the Flyers at home in October.

Storm are a minus 12 differential in powerplay goals scored to conceded, the worst of all teams.

Pic Credit Manchester Storm

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4th v MANCHESTER STORM @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 5.15pm

Last League Visit from Storm

Overall Elite League Home Record Against Storm

P 23 W 14 L 9 F 80 A 63

Number Crunching

The Flyers have won their last three against the Storm on home ice which currently ties for their best ever win streak at the Auld Barn in all EIHL competitions against Manchester.

The Flyers top goal scorers against the Storm this term in all EIHL competitions are Collin Shirley and Teemu Pulkkinen who each have a goal. The Storms top marksman is Cam Critchlow with two goals and the Storm have six different scorers of their seven goals.

The Flyers have yet to have a player record a hat trick against the Storm in all EIHL competitions. They remain the only active EIHL team without a Flyers hat trick against them.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.64 goals per game with 2.5 being the Storm’s average. Storm have conceded an average of 3.25 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.69.

Pic Credit Jillian McFarlane and Derek Young
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