TWO games against Elite League opposition – one thumping win at home and one hard fought draw on the road.
Fife Flyers defenceman Thomas Muir believes that the East Coast Cup games against Edinburgh Capitals have proved that he and his team mates are more talented than they are given credit for.
Speaking after the entertaining 2-2 draw at Murrayfield on Tuesday night, Muir told SportsPress: “It’s definitely a faster pace than we’re used to so we have to work a bit harder and take a bit more punishment than we normally do, but these are the games we want to play in.
“It’s much better when you’re getting hit, and making hits back. You can’t help but get involved. Sometimes against the weaker teams you get into bad habits, but in games like tonight you have to do everything to stay in the game.
“It was good to get a result, and I think we’ve shown that seven or eight of us could step up and play Elite, and the rest aren’t far away.
“Maybe people were doubting whether we could step up the pace, but we’ve played Edinburgh with no real proper tuning up beforehand, and we’ve done really well in both games. If we do make the step up, there’s a lot of us ready for it.”
Muir was a key player in both games against the Capitals, helping the defence concede just three goals in six periods of hockey against a quality forward line including established imports Martin Cingel and Jeff Hutchins.
“It’s just a case of getting used to the pace, and having experience at that level,” he said. “Some of the guys in our team have only just stepped up from under 19s and under 17s, so they are having to make two steps at one time.
“They’ve been thrown in and asked to deal with proven imports like Cingel and Hutchins – and that’s a big challenge for them.
“I remember when I first came into the Flyers team I was thinking all the older guys were much better, but the more you play against them, the more you get used to it, and confidence builds.”
Dundee Stars Elite League side are next up for Flyers on Saturday in what promises to be an even tougher test, but Muir relishes the challenge.
“It would be brilliant if we could play in games like this every week,” he said. “We’ve got two games a week at moment, which is a big thing, even if it is just for four or five weeks.
“It’s hard to get into a rhythm when you’re stop-start all the time. These guys have you running around at times so our fitness is getting better. It will be interesting against Dundee.
“We don’t want to be embarrassed, but we’re thinking we could get a result. These games are more for us to test ourselves, and see where we are and where we need to be.
“Hopefully next year the leagues will sort themselves out.”