Some things are worth waiting for ...
Fife Flyers’ quest to get the better of Braehead Clan has spanned an entire season.
A win on the road back in October was followed by a run of eight straight losses.
Saturday’s victory was, remarkably, their first on home ice over Clan in 2016-17.
And yet, despite the points shipped to their west coast rivals, the teams are still tied in fifth place in the EIHL, and Flyers will take the bounce that comes on the back of this win on the cusp of the play-offs.
The victory was deserved.
Fife put in a solid, gutsy, hard-working 60 minutes of hockey – something they haven’t always done this season – and carved out a series of outstanding chances across all three periods.
The teams matched up well and fed off the noise of a 2400 crowd to serve up one one of the better games in their head to heads this season.
Clan had a good opening period, but their finishing was perhaps not as sharp as in previous games, but this still remained a open, one-goal hockey game until the dying seconds when Russ Moyer hit the empty net to secure the points.
There were some big chances at both ends of the pad in the opening period before Chase Schaber gave Fife a 15th minute lead on the powerplay – Fox and Dingle for Fife, while Scott Aarssen couldn’t net faced with an open goal.
Flyers enjoyed good spells of pressure in the second period, and continued to carve out some great openings in the Clan zone – how Ryan Dingle ended the game without a goal is a bit of a mystery!
Josh Scoon was wide open in front of the net in the 25th minute but couldn’t get enough on his flick, and Schaber saw a goal washed out after moving on to a delightful pass from Sebastien Thinel only for ref Paval Halas to blow a second too early.
Clan drew level after 37 minutes thanks to some good puck movement and some poor defence work – Stefan Della Rovere finishing off a clinical move shooting past Shane Owen.
The pace didn’t drop in the third as both sides created good chances, but it was Flyers who grabbed the vital o-ahead goal on a 48th minute powerplay.
Clan’s zone opened up, and Matt Sisca simply rifled a shot past the unprotected Michal Zajkowski.
James Isaacs then went close with a fine backhand shot that saw the red light flash on as the puck flew across the goal, but play raged on.
Kyle Haines then saw a fine netbound shot diverted by the slightest touch off a skate.
Clan pulled their netminder with 1:01 to play, but the gamble didn’t pay off as Moyer grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and sent a long-range shot down the ice into the empty net for a win that has been a long time coming ...
Period scores: 1-0, 0-1, 2-0
SOGs: Fife (Owen) 26, Clan (Zajkowski) 31.
Flyers Scoring: Moyer (1+1), Schaber, Sisca (1+0), Thinel, Haines (0+1) Paquet (0+1)
Clan Scoring: Della Rovere (1+0), Keith, Ahsberg (0+1)