Belfast Giants forward accused of spearing Fife Flyers’ netminder

Shane Owen at the centre of the game's main talking point (PIc: Steve Gunn)
Shane Owen at the centre of the game's main talking point (PIc: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers lost their status as league leaders to Belfast Giants after going down 2-1 in Friday night’s game in Kirkcaldy.

The main talking point, however, was a clash between netminder Shane Owen and Giants’ forward David Rutherford which could cross the radar of the league’s disciplinary body if either club asks for a review.

Shane Owen, Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Shane Owen, Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

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Both players were assessed minor penalties for roughing and slashing, but in his post-game interview, Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said

Giants’ forward had speared his netminder – and that was why Owen reacted throwing punches with his blocker glove.

“There is frustration in that the guy is allowed to spear him in the groin twice, point blank,” said Dutiaume.

“This league is cracking down on fighting, but it really needs to protect these guys if they want to avoid things happening after the whistle.”

Flyers found Giants a tough nut to crack in a close, tight game.

They fell behind to a goal from Blair Riley after 18 minutes, with Rutherford adding a second after 28 minutes.

Giants looked solid in defence, although they did come under pressure in the third as Flyers found their tempo and netted through the in-form Paul Crowder for a 2-1 scoreline – but Dutiaume felt that, overall, his team played well.

But he needs more from his roster of the club is to stay at the heart of the title race.

“We are in a very favourable position in a very good league,” he said, “but, once again, this team dipped its doe into the game to see what kind of atmosphere was out there.

“In tight games, if even one or two guys are off, or missing assignments, it makes the rest of the group imperfect.”

Dutiaume will be looking for a reaction this weekend which is spent on the road with games at Manchester Storm on Saturday and Coventry Blaze on Sunday.