Tim Hartung: The coolest man on ice

Tim Hartung is shadowed by Dundee player-coach Jeff Hutchins during Sunday's penalty shots victory. Pic: Steve Gunn

Tim Hartung is shadowed by Dundee player-coach Jeff Hutchins during Sunday's penalty shots victory. Pic: Steve Gunn

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Fife Flyers may be in the grip of a titanic battle for a place in the play-offs, but don’t expect Tim Hartung to get flustered by it all.

The 29-year-old American was once again the coolest man on the ice over the weekend as Flyers claimed a vital four points with victories over Belfast Giants and Dundee Stars.

Hartung scored three crucial goals over the two games, one in each during regulation time, before netting a critical penalty shot as the Stars match went to a nail-biting shoot-out.

Hartung has been Flyers penalty shot master this season - even scoring a hat-trick in a shoot-out win over Hull in December - and his ability to keep calm under pressure situations has been a key part of Flyers’ play-off push.

“For some reason, I’ve been good at shoot-outs over the last few years,” he said. “I don’t know why.

“I was terrible in juniors, but I’ve found a move and it seems to work.

“I don’t get too flustered. I just do my move and hope it works – and it has worked this year.

“There was a bit of added pressure on Sunday because we’ve faced Dundee in a shoot-out before, which made it tougher as the goalie knew what I was doing.

“It was a little tense, but it ended up working out, and Ned and Kevin came up big for us.”

Hartung was deployed as a centreman over the weekend having already played defence and wing this season.

“It’s been a rollercoaster year for me,” he said. “All the way up my career I’ve played defence, wing and centre - it’s not too big a deal.

“I just play where they need me and try to be the best I can.”

The four points from the weekend, combined with results elsewhere, mean that Flyers will qualify for the play-offs if they win their last two games against Braehead Clan this weekend.

“It’s tough when you play the whole year and it comes down to one weekend,” Hartung added.

“But things are going well in the room, guys are happy, and for some reason the last month and a half has been going really well.

“We’re just going to try to keep riding that and see what happens.”