ZACH Carriveau was the most relieved man in Fife Ice Arena on Sunday after finally breaking his scoring duck for Fife Flyers in his 26th competitive match.
The 22-year-old American defenceman scored his first, and second goals for the Kirkcaldy club in the hard fought 4-2 victory over Cardiff Devils.
It took a fluke to get him off the mark as his attempted backhand pass bobbled past the Devils netminder and just over the line for the opener, but he followed that up with a stunning slapshot that helped seal the win.
“It’s been a long wait for the goal,” Carriveau told the Press.
“It’s not how I expected my first one to go in, but I’ll take whatever I can get.
“I half expected one of the guys to tell me that it didn’t count, so it feels good to get two.
“Hopefully there will be a lot more to come.”
Carriveau has impressed in his defensive role since joining the club in the summer but he admitted that his failure to contribute to the goals column had been preying on his mind.
“It’s been annoying me since I got here,” he said.
“Back in the Autumn Cup I was hitting posts and thinking I just had to zone in a little bit more and there would be a bunch of goals.
“But once we got into the season it was all glove saves, and easy blockers.
“I have an above average shot, and that’s why I’m here, so it’s about time it went in the net.
“Now I’ve got a little confidence back in my shot.”
Carriveau revealed that Flyers coaching staff had been encouraging him to shoot more often.
“They’re on me every day in practice, making me shoot pucks,” he said.
“Danny Stewart called me in before the Cardiff game and said don’t be shy to shoot the puck.
“Maybe it was inspiring or just coincidence, but it was just what I needed.”
The victory ensured Flyers stayed in eighth place in the Elite League ahead of a resurgent Edinburgh Capitals side.
“Overall it was a big win for us,” Carriveau added.
“Cardiff are a top team in this league and it’s good to beat them in front of our fans.
“It shows that the win against Belfast last week wasn’t a fluke.
“We just need to get it going on the road, and believe me, we will.
“We have great coaches, great staff, great everything; we just need to pack our home form on the bus.
“I feel we can win every game we play.”
Flyers have a hectic schedule over the festive period with five games in 10 days, but that won’t phase Carriveau.
“Last year in Arizona our schedules were busy so I’m used to playing three or four games in a week,” he said. “It’s probably better because you feel even more in game shape.”
Carriveau, who will be spending his first Christmas in Scotland, added: “There’s lot of families coming over, so it’s going to be jolly time for all the guys.
“My girlfriend is coming up after Christmas, so I’ll be just be spending Christmas Day sitting around with Kris Hogg!”