Fife Flyers are still a hot team insists Sisca

Matt Sisca, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn
Matt Sisca, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn

Matt Sisca insists Fife Flyers are still a team in form – despite back-to-back defeats.

A mostly positive start to 2017 was derailed by weekend losses to both Braehead Clan and Cardiff Devils but the 26-year-old forward believes team confidence should remain high ahead of the home double-header against Edinburgh Capitals and Nottingham Panthers.

“Since Christmas we’ve been the hottest team in the league so we can’t put our heads down,” Sisca told the Press.

“We can’t think about losing our last two - before that we’d won eight in 10 so we’re still a hot team.

“A two-game losing streak doesn’t make us cold. We just need to flip things around again and pick up points this coming weekend.”

Flyers defeat to Braehead on Saturday was a severe blow to their Gardiner Conference title hopes, and their sixth straight loss to their Glasgow rivals.

“It was tough,” Sisca said. “Braehead has our number so far this year and it’s frustrating.

“We had some bad breaks go against us - like Jackman breaking his stick then the puck going in off his skate - and we hit a few posts, but there’s really no excuses.

“If we wanted to win we would’ve won that game. Braehead are just finding ways to beat us and now that they are nine points ahead of us in the division, we’ve just got to battle our way back.”

One of the factors in Flyers weekend defeats was the failure to score on the powerplay as Flyers allowed 13 opportunities to slip by without reward across the two games.

“I really think it’s just a case of bearing down,” Sisca said. “On our first PP against Cardiff they just came right at us, and we couldn’t even enter the zone.

“We’ve just go to take a deep breath because all 10 of us on the PP are just holding our sticks way too tight at the moment.

“We hear the fans shouting ‘shoot’, ‘pass’, ‘score’ and we really are trying! I can see them getting frustrated as much as we are.

“It’s 100 per cent just bearing down on our chances, and making sure that when we have an opportunity, we put it in the net.”

Flyers powerplay was as high as second best in the EIHL earlier in the season but they have now slipped down to eighth, under 17 per cent.

“That’s hockey,” Sisca said. “The season runs from August to April and you’re not going to have the hottest powerplay in the league, or the coldest powerplay in league, for the entire season.

“We’re going through a stretch right now where we’re cold and we’ve just got to find a way out of it.

“Whether it hits someone’s chest, bum or head - anything that goes in can just change the PP around.

“Special teams are huge in this league - Cardiff scored a powerplay and shorthanded goal against us and it won them game. As soon as we turn around our special teams I think we’ll do really well.”

Sisca admits he would have hoped to score more than 11 goals in 39 games thus far, but with 26 assists, he has been the team’s most creative forward.

“With Cameron coming in he’s the centreman now, and along with Brooks, there’s a lot of speed on one line,” he said. “We’re clicking, and we’re getting our chances, but I’m not really finding the back of the net this year as much as I’d like to.

“On the other side, I’m setting people up, which is totally fine. Whoever scores doesn’t really matter to any of us. As long as we win the game.

“We have such a good group of guys – you see Chris Wands score that goal against Cariff and the whole building erupts and the whole bench goes crazy.

“That’s how tight we are in this group and for a guy like that to score a goal like that is just amazing.

“It’s great playing for this club with all its history, and we want to bring home some hardware for the fans.”