Sisca: We overcame Belfast seasickness to beat Sheffield

Matt Sisca (right) shoots the puck past Sheffield netminder Ervins Mustukovs. Pic: Steve Gunn
Matt Sisca (right) shoots the puck past Sheffield netminder Ervins Mustukovs. Pic: Steve Gunn

Two-goal hero Matt Sisca revealed how Fife Flyers overcame tiredness - and seasickness - to claim a stunning win over Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.

Flyers went into the match on the back of the long return journey to Belfast the previous day, where they lost 7-2 to Giants, just as the tail end of Storm Doris was making its mark.

It made for a choppy ferry journey across the Irish Sea, and some cloudy heads as the players made a 5.30 a.m return to Kirkcaldy on Sunday morning, but Flyers were able to shake off the effects of the trip to claim one of their best results of the season.

“It’s a tough trip going to Belfast,” Sisca told the Press. “You’re up really early in the morning with the bus to Stranraer and the ferry.

“With the weather too the boat was rocking back and forth so the fellas weren’t feeling too great.

“Going into Belfast after a trip like that you’re already at a disadvantage - you can’t make excuses but it’s really tough going into that barn to win.

“We got back around 5.30 in the morning, then we’re playing 12 hours later.

“It’s not just physically, it’s more mentally trying to get yourself ready that’s difficult - but we did - and it’s a huge positive stride.

“We could’ve came out, laid an egg, and made inane excuses saying we’re tired, or we have guys out, but that just shows the character in the room.

“Some people weren’t happy with our performances in the previous couple of games - I see why - but it just shows the team that we have.

“Sheffield came into our rink second in the league, and I’m not saying we owned them, but we took it to them pretty much the whole game.

“And when we got tired in the last 10 minutes we played controlled, didn’t take any chances, and that was just a good team win.”

The victory put a stop to a run of four straight defeats at a time in the season where form is key.

“I don’t know if I can describe how much we needed that,” Sisca said. “Getting zero out of six in conference last weekend was devastating and we came home from Belfast with our chins down low, but you saw that we had all lines firing, Owen standing on his head, and Foxy back in the line-up gave us a lot more energy.

“It’s been a rollercoaster this season with winning streaks and losing streaks - but the losing streaks have got to stop now. We have seven games left in the season and although the conference is over we want to finish as high in the league standings as possible, and get on a roll before play-offs.”

Sisca was paired on a line with Carlo Finucci and Brendan Brooks over the weekend and the chemistry on display was encouraging - although he admitted that the combination was only put together due to injuries.

“Going into the weekend Finucci, Brooks and myself weren’t together - I was paired with Brooks and Dingle,” he revealed. “But with Dings not being able to play it was changed at the last minute for Belfast, and it’s something that just clicked. With Brooksy’s speed and Nucci’s vision it worked great.

“We were on a line for around a month earlier this year but we’re going into March now, so if you put anyone with anyone you’ll know how they play and what they are going to do.

“I’m happy playing with those two or with anyone. It’s all about who is going to come out to work that night and who clicks.”