FIFE Flyers were given a huge boost this week when defenceman Matt Cohen returned to training for the first time in five weeks.
And although the 26-year-old American was not expected to feature in last night’s match away to Braehead Clan, which took place after our print deadline, he is rated 50-50 to play this weekend.
Cohen has not featured for Flyers since suffering a severe concussion after being hit from behind during the 3-1 defeat to Belfast Giants at Fife Ice Arena on December 10.
Player-coach Todd Dutiaume told SportsPress: “As a team we’re excited that he’s back, and thrilled that he’s feeling better.
“It really benefits the squad to get a guy like Cohen back in. He was a solid influence back there before his injury, and it’s something we’ve been missing.
“It certainly gives us much better chance of making the play-offs. He’ll have four good training sessions between now and Saturday and, barring any relapse, hopefully we’ll see him in line-up.”
Dutiaume stressed the he will look to ease Cohen back into Elite League action should he declare himself fit for action.
He explained: “He won’t be ready to log 40 minutes as he was before his injury, but I’d take 10 minutes of Matt Cohen any day.
“Whatever we can get out of him right now, we’ll accept that, and continue to build it up.”
Cohen’s return means Flyers can ice nine imports for the first time, which is still one short of the number EIHL clubs are permitted.
Dutiaume added: “If my boss allows me to pull in one more late guy, or if someone becomes available in the next two weeks, that’s something I’m always going to consider, and ask for.
“But for the directors to want to do that, and go that next step, we’ve got to win some hockey games for them.
“We can’t continue to up the ante, and not produce points. The directors, along with the crowd, are keen to see some results out of us.”
Dutiaume has urged his players to put on a show for the Sky Sports cameras against Coventry on Saturday, before the team travel to Nottingham on Sunday.
“It’s a big audience and a good chance for us to give good account of ourselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, SportsPress understands that Flyers forward Marc Fowley has left the club. The 22-year-old, signed from Paisley Pirates in 2010, scored one goal and one assist in the Elite League this season.
He is understood to have become frustrated at his lack of action, having been an unused member of the bench in most matches this season.