AFTER claiming their first points in the Elite League, Fife Flyers are now targeting their first major scalp.
The Kirkcaldy side claimed three points out of six in a gruelling three-game run last weekend, including their first win in a Challenge Cup match against Edinburgh, and their first league point on the road in Hull.
It has given the EIHL rookies a much-needed confidence boost ahead of this Saturday’s visit of league leaders Belfast Giants, who cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Fifers at home last Friday.
However, player-coach Todd Dutiaume expects his charges to give the Irish big guns a tougher game in Kirkcaldy.
“The guys are up against it when it comes to competing with these top five teams, but you just never know on the night,” he said.
“We’re hoping that the game in Belfast was an anomaly. It was an awfully long day, and the Belfast rink is on a different planet to what our guys are used to. We just stood back and watched them play hockey for most of the game.
“We never go into a game to lose so we’ll be looking to come up with an upset or two over the season, hopefully starting this Saturday.”
Dutiaume confessed that the standard of play in the Elite League has surprised him.
“It’s been a learning process for me because the Elite League is a better league than I initially thought,” he said.
“The teams are incredibly strong. I knew there was gifted players in the league, I just didn’t realise there was so many.
“The league is split into two, and we’ll be looking to beat the teams around us.”
Flyers could be without netminder Garrett Zemlak after the Canadian received a match penalty in Hull for excessive roughness and illegal use of his blocker.
However, after reviewing video footage, Dutaiume is considering an appeal against the automatic one-game ban.
“I don’t think the incident reflected what was called,” he said. “It didn’t look like a serious infraction on the tape.
“We’ll see what the league says once they’ve reviewed it but I know how these things generally work.”
Balir Daly will deputise between the pipes on Saturday, and Zemlak will return to the roster for the trip to Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.