No panic as Flyers acclimatise to Elite League

3711019 SSFF flyers coventry '- Fife Flyers against Coventry Blaze at the Fife Ice Arena, Kirkcaldy
3711019 SSFF flyers coventry '- Fife Flyers against Coventry Blaze at the Fife Ice Arena, Kirkcaldy
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THERE is no panic at Fife Flyers despite a difficult introduction to life in the Elite League.

Flyers conceded 11 times – and failed to score – in the opening double-header against Coventry Blaze, with a 2-0 home defeat followed by a 9-0 reverse on the road.

With Elite League play-off champions Nottingham Panthers next up at Fife Ice Arena this Saturday, Flyers will once again be up against it.

Player-coach Todd Dutiaume, pictured left, admits that it will take his EIHL newcomers time to find their feet after six years in the lower leagues.

“We’re going to play survival hockey for a while,” he told SportsPress. “It’s going to be anything it takes to keep in the game.

“We have confidence in both goalies, which is pleasing, but we’ve identified things that we need to work on.

“It’s going to happen for us. It’s just a matter of our timeline and how quickly we make things happen.

“But as you saw over the weekend, there are some good hockey teams in this league.”

Patience is likely to be the key word at Fife in the coming weeks, and Dutiuame was encouraged by the way the fans responded to defeat against Coventry.

“We haven’t been shut out at home for a long time, and I certianly didn’t want that,” he said.

“The crowd maybe don’t know what to expect, they’re coming in blind to this as well.

“But we got a lot of ‘well dones’ and a good cheer off at the end. They can tell that we we’re not just going through the motions.

“We’re giving it our best but we’re going to take some time to improve.”

One of Fife’s new overseas arrivals, Matt Siddall, was thrown out of his first ever EIHL game by referee Moray Hanson for verbal abusing the official, which Dutiaume felt was harsh.

“Sometimes refs should maybe give new guys in the country a break,” Dutiaume said.

“I don’t think he did anything outrageous, certainly nothing to warrant a game penalty, but maybe they are trying to send a message to these guys not to go near the refs.

“Emotion is good because it shows guys care. If they didn’t care, we’d have a bigger problem.”

Flyers hope to fly centreman Mike Hamilton into the country in time for the visit of Nottingham, after the Canadian secured his UK visa on Wednesday.