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Weekend Preview – Week 23

WEEK 23 of the 2023/24 Elite Ice Hockey League season and it’s Friday night hockey for the Flyers who entertain the Manchester Storm before hopping on the ferry across the Irish Sea to meet the Belfast Giants on Saturday night.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23rd  v MANCHESTER STORM @ FIFE ICE ARENA – FACE OFF 7.30pm

Recent Form Guide

The Flyers welcome the Manchester Storm for what will be the final meeting between the two sides in the regular season this term. Of course the two matched up only a few weekends ago in a home and home double header with the teams each winning on their own ice. The results left the clubs five points apart in the playoff race. Following those meetings the Storm then visited the Sheffield Steelers where their record in recent seasons has been very similar to the Flyers and they were shutout for the second time this season. The following night they hosted the Cardiff Devils who continued their dominant run of form with a big 6-1 win. In a full card of midweek fixtures the Belfast Giants visited Altrincham and were beaten 5-2 before last weekend when the Storm hosted the Dundee Stars on Saturday night with the game going to overtime with Manchester getting the win before a trip across the Irish Sea to meet the Belfast Giants the following night saw the Storm shut out again in a 3-0 loss. The Storm come into this weekend now only three points ahead of the Flyers with two games fewer played in what will be a crucial match up for both teams.

Last League Visit from Storm

Overall Elite League Home Record Against Storm

P 24 W 15 L 9 F 84 A 64

Number Crunching

The Flyers are looking to extend their current best ever win sequence against the Storm on home ice to five games.

A win would also sweep the series against the Storm on home ice this season, the only previous time this was achieved was season 2018/19.

The Flyers top goal scorer against the Storm this term in all EIHL competitions is Johan Eriksson with four goals and they have had six different scorers of their ten goals scored. The Storm top marksmen are Cam Critchlow, Loren Ulett and Stephen Johnson all with three goals and Manchester have six different scorers of their 13 goals.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.84 goals per game with 2.47 being the Storm average. Storm have conceded an average of 3.30 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.69

Pic Credit Jillian McFarlane and Derek Young

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 24th v BELFAST GIANTS @ SSE ARENA – FACE OFF 7.00pm

Recent Form Guide

The Flyers and Giants last met on the first weekend of 2024 with the Flyers recording a both a rare victory on Belfast ice but also snapped the Giants 26 game winning streak against them. The following weekend Belfast hosted Nottingham for a pair of games. On the Friday night the Panthers took an early lead but the Giants scored the next two for the win and followed that up the next night with a 4-2 scoreline. A trip to the Motorpoint Arena saw the Giants win comfortably 7-2 before they picked up a point 24 hours later in a shootout loss in Coventry. Returning to home ice they beat the Blaze 5-2 but the following night the scoreline was reversed as the Guildford Flames won in Surrey. The Giants had another home double header with the visit of the Cardiff Devils who took full points from their weekend in Belfast. It was a road double header the next weekend as the Giants picked up a four point haul from a goal fest 8-5 win at Glasgow on the Saturday followed up with a narrow 3-2 win in Dundee the next day. The following midweek they were on the road again as they met the Manchester Storm and were defeated 5-2 before having just the one game last weekend when Storm visited the SSE with the Giants recording their third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win.

Last League Visit to Giants

Overall Elite League Away Record Against Giants

P 27 W 3 L 24 F 54 A 134

Number Crunching

The Flyers will be looking to make it back to back wins at the SSE Arena, which would equal their best ever sequence on the road against the Giants. The last time they achieved this it spanned the final visit of the 2017/18 season and the first in season 2018/19 – the latter was a Challenge Cup tie so this would be the first of back to back wins in the league.

Four of the six meetings between the teams this season have effectively been 1 goal games.

The Flyers top goal scorer against the Giants this term in all EIHL competitions is Troy Lajeunesse with four goals and they have had six different scorers of their 14 goals scored. The Giants top marksman is Ben Lake with four goals and the Giants have 11 different scorers of their 22 goals.

Across all EIHL competitions this season Flyers have scored an average of 2.84 goals per game with 3.38 being the Giants average. Giants have conceded an average of 2.69 goals per game with the Flyers averaging 3.69.

Pic Credit Belfast Giants
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