Flyers play catch-up in busy festive period

Danny Stewart in action in Fife Flyers 5-3 win over Hull Stingrays on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn

Danny Stewart in action in Fife Flyers 5-3 win over Hull Stingrays on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn

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Fife Flyers are hoping to use the busy festive period to claw themselves back into contention in the Gardiner Conference.

Flyers are currently bottom of their division and although they sit 11 points behind leaders Hull Stingrays, they have played seven games less.

The Kirkcaldy club will play catch-up over the next week with four back-to-back conference games sandwiched between Christmas and New Year.

Flyers have taken nine points from a possible 12 over their last six games and head coach Todd Dutiaume hopes his team can take that level of consistency into a crucial week.

“For whatever reason we have a better record out of conference than we do in conference,” he said.

“That’s something we can rectify because we’ve not had as many conference games as other teams.

“The next week and a half is really big for this club, and I’d like use to use it to jump up the standings.

“The Christmas period has generally always been good to this club.

“It’s where we turned a corner last year, and really rolled into things right up until the end of the season.

“We’ve had a good December so far and while we’ve still got some consistency problems I’d like to think we can tidy those up.

“It’s down to desire and these guys are professional hockey players - they have to come to the rink and play for a full 60 minutes.

“When they do that, good things happen. When we don’t we drop points.”

The run of four games in six days starts with tonight’s Boxing Day clash against Edinburgh Capitals at Fife Ice Arena (6.30 p.m face-off).

That will be followed by a home and away double-header against Dundee Stars over the weekend before a trip to Murrayfield Ice Arena on Hogmanay (3.30 p.m face-off).

Dutiaume will be looking for the same level of performance as his players delivered in the second period against Hull on Sunday, when they scored four of their goals in a 5-3 win.

“We’ve got four big games in a week,” Dutiaume added.

“Dundee are riding high and although Edinburgh had a rough patch at the start of the season they’ve proved they can beat anyone.

“They are all tough games but we need the team that came out at start of second period against Hull on Sunday to show up.

“As coaches it’s very frustrarting because it was easy hockey. There was nothing special to it and no system change - it was just them wanting it, going to the net and shooting the puck.

“That’s the things we’ve been harping on about, and it’s why we’ve been more successful over the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, Flyers have confirmed they are still considering an appeal against Matt Nickerson’s 12-game ban.

Dutiaume said: “We’ve broken it down, and it’s still my strong view that this punishment certainly didn’t fit the crime.

“We’re definitely on Matt’s side on this. We’re possibly making progress on an appeal but we want to make sure we have everything in line and that we have the strongest case possible if that’s the route we choose to take.

“A decision will be made on that this week.”