FIFE Flyers can celebrate their 70th anniversary by lifting the first silverware of the season.
Britain's oldest and most successful ice hockey club reached its landmark Diamond Jubilee yesterday (Wednesday), and now club officials are hoping to keep the party going as the Autumn Cup final comes to Fife Ice Arena on Saturday.
Flyers face Solway Sharks in the two-legged final, and aim to make home advantage count before travelling to Dumfries on Sunday night.
Player-coach Todd Dutiaume will return to the ice after losing a couple of teeth in Sunday's win over Paisley – and he is keen to get the better of his former assistant, Martin Grubb, now in charge at Solway.
But the Canadian knows it will be close – the teams' early meetings have produced tight one goal hockey games.
Dutiaume said: It's a great hockey finals weekend,. Both teams are very well matched and I think we'll see some great hockey.
'We always knew 'Spud' would have Solway better organised, but this year they are also playing with a lot of hunger – they want to win – and when you are up against a team which is hungry then you have to be prepared. 'The team that wants it most will win this weekend.''
Flyers are hoping for a big crowd for Saturday's first leg to help generate a genuine cup final atmosphere and set the scene for a possible victory in Dumfries just 24 hours later.
The Fife side head south just days after bagging a 2-1 win over Solway in their own barn, and Dutiaume would settle for the same again.
''It was our first win over them and we were pleased to take it,'' said Dutiaume. ''It gives us a little bit of confidence going back there this weekend. It was certainly a boost.''
Flyers also skated to a comfortable 9-2 win over Braehead Pirates making their belated start to the campaign. Dutiaume retired injured after the first period, and left assistant Steven Lynch to direct operations while he headed for medical treatment.
''We didn't really know what to expect from Paisley with Dino Bauba in charge, but they were short of match practice.'' he said.
''They'd only trained twice and by all accounts their legs gave out. They were also minus an import and a couple of guys so we didn't encounter many problems.''