Top-scoring D-man backs Flyers forwards to find their form

Nicholas Rioux in action against Braehead Clan last Friday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Nicholas Rioux in action against Braehead Clan last Friday. Pic: Steve Gunn
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Nicholas Rioux does not expect to be Fife Flyers’ top points scorer for long because he believes the club’s forwards will prove their worth in the coming weeks.

The defenceman’s point per game ratio - three goals and nine assists in 12 games so far - places him one ahead of the nearest forward, Jeff Lee, who has 11 points from six goals and five assists.

Only three EIHL defenceman have amassed more points - Jacob Johnston of Edinburgh Capitals leads the way on 14 - but Rioux is sure his team mates will soon overtake him.

“It will come - we have a good bunch of forwards,” Rioux told the Press.

“They will click and get back on their game.

“I’m just trying to play as good as I can every night, and help the team.

“In past years I usually average between five or 10 goals. I just try to keep the puck on net.

“If it goes in, great, but if not then maybe there will be a rebound that the forwards can put in.

“I’m not really looking for it, per se, but I’ll definitely take it if it goes in.”

Rather than personal statistics, Rioux’s main concern at the moment is with Flyers’ form, and the need to put the brakes on a four-game losing streak.

“We always stick around in the game and end up shooting ourselves in the foot,” the Canadian explained.

“It’s mistakes or mental breakdowns and so those are things we’ve got to concentrate on and try to avoid.

“We’re in games most of the time so if we eliminate those we’ll get back in winning ways.

“It’s just the little things.

“We had a meeting this week and talked about what we’ve got to do to get better.

“We’ve seen a difference in practice already.

“We’ve just got to expect more out of each and every one of us.”

Rioux highlighted the importance of the upcoming run of games with 13 of the next 15 fixtures within the Gardiner Conference.

“It’s definitely a month we think is important for us and could determine our season,” he said.

“It could make or break us, you could say.

“These are the teams we play the most against so the rivalries are huge, and it’s going to be tough games.

“We just need to get through them on the winning side.

“It’s pretty tight right now.

“Yes we’re in last place, but we’re pretty close to being back on top so a couple more wins and we’re right back in it.

“It’s nothing to be too worried about, yet, but we’ve got to stop the bleeding.”