Flyers receive no apology for “false” biting allegation

Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers head coach. Pic: Steve Gunn

Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers head coach. Pic: Steve Gunn

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Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume says the club has received no explanation or apology for the mysterious biting allegation made against Danny Stewart last week.

Manchester Storm requested a Department of Player Safety review against Stewart - releasing a statement claiming to have photographic evidence of a biting incident - after the 5-1 win over Fife on December 27.

The accusation followed an altercation involving Stewart and Storm winger Devin Didiomete, who was subsequently banned for four games after climbing the plexi-glass to attack the Fife associate player-coach as he sat in the penalty box.

Storm’s request for sanctions against Stewart was subsequently withdrawn but no further explanation was given by either the EIHL or the club itself. Stewart branded the allegation “false” and “disgusting”.

The situation has created tension between the clubs ahead of this Saturday’s meeting at Fife Ice Arena, which will see Didiomete sit out the final match of his ban.

Dutiaume told the Press: “I’m surprised that it’s just been brushed away.

“The situation should’ve been handled better, but that’s something for to the powers that be to address.

“There’s certainly been no apology to this club, which isn’t great.

“If there’s an allegation put out there - and it’s false - people have to be held accountable for it, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.”

Dutiuame admitted that the matter could provide his players with extra motivation on Saturday.

“I’ll use any motivation that we can get, but first and foremost our main motivation has to be to stay at the top of conference and remain one of the contenders for it,” he said.

“We owe them one - we went into their building and pumped 50 shots on them and left with nothing so we have to answer that back with a victory.”

Flyers are currently top of the conference after three consecutive victories over new year and Dutiaume feels the team is in a good position to challenge for their first title.

“It was nice to string three wins together to send us into the second half of the season on a high and on a positive note.” he said.

“I don’t think it was our best performance against Dundee but it shows we’ve turned a corner as a club that we can grind out a victory in a game like that.

“Six weeks ago we probably would’ve lost the game and just put it down to not being at our best.

“It all adds up to having a little bit of team confidence. We had three different types of hockey game last week and won them all - that’s a great sign.

“Dundee and Braehead have a few games in hand and there’s still a lot of hockey still to be played out but it’s good to be in the position of having points in the bag.”

Flyers travel to Nottingham on Sunday for an EIHL fixture before welcoming Sheffield Steelers to Fife Ice Arena on Tuesday for the Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg, face-off 7.30 p.m.

Michael Dorr and Shayne Stockton are making progress but are again expected to miss out again due to injury.

“We’re hoping to have those guys available in the short-term future,” Dutiaume added.