Flyers eye up overtaking moves in charge to play-offs

Derek Roehl leads the celebrations after shooting Fife Flyers into a 4-3 lead against Belfast on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Derek Roehl leads the celebrations after shooting Fife Flyers into a 4-3 lead against Belfast on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers have dragged themselves into the slipstream of their play-off rivals - now they are looking to overtake as they continue their all-out charge for the play-offs.

A stunning run of eight wins from their last 10 games has pushed the Kirkcaldy side into a position where, with seven league games left, they now have their play-off destiny back in their own hands.

Flyers are currently two points behind Cardiff and three behind Hull, with two games in hand on both, although by the time Edinbrugh visit Fife on Saturday, they will have an extra game in hand on Cardiff, who visit EIHL champions Belfast on Friday night.

It’s a position that associate player-coach Danny Stewart is delighted to be in after fearing that the team’s season would fizzle out.

“Judging by where we were a month ago, I’m pretty thrilled with where we sit right now,” Stewart told the Press.

“We’ve given ourselves a great chance of catching at least two teams, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do, and we can’t expect teams to do us any favours.

“We’ve just got to focus on our own games, one at a time, and as long as we keep these performances up results will go our way.”

Stewart puts Flyers recent revival down to the players maturing over the course of the season.

He explained: “We signed a relatively young and inexperienced team when you consider the likes of Reber, Roehl and Fulton are only in their second or third year as pros.

“There’s only one other guy besides myself in their 30s, but guys have matured a bit over the season and now they’ve found their niche.

“We’ve also found a bit of chemistry in the lines and that’s played a huge part in our success.”

Stewart has warned the team against taking bottom club Edinburgh lightly this Saturday, especially after their 2-0 win over Braehead on Sunday.

“Richard (Hartmann) will have them keyed up and I’m sure he’ll have challenged them to play for their jobs next year,” Stewart said.

“In saying that the pressure is off because they are out of the play-offs, so they might go out play more freely.

“They are always a hard-working squad so we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.

“We are a form team, but at the end of the day we’re still in ninth place so I see no reason why we need to risk going back to old habits.

“If we start with the mentality that we’re playing the last placed team then the next thing you know, you’ve lost to a team you should’ve taken two points from.

“Nothing against them but they are definitely a team we have to beat if we’re going to make this run.”

Flyers travel to Nottingham on Sunday looking for their first EIHL win at the NIC.

“We’ve played some good hockey against Nottingham this year,” Stewart said.

“It’s always a tough place to go, but I don’t think they are completely on form right now.

“We’ll go there full of confidence and hopefully you’ll see a different Flyers team from the one that normally goes down to the NIC.”