A battling performance from Derek Roehl was not enough to spare Fife Flyers from a home Challenge Cup defeat to Belfast Giants on Sunday.
Roehl picked up his second man of the match award of the season but his mood in the dressing room afterwards was one of frustration after the 5-1 loss.
“It wasn’t the outcome we expected,” he told the Press.
“We came hard, but we didn’t get the bounces we wanted, and they just executed on the little chances they got. Special teams played a little bit of a factor as well.”
Roehl was particularly annoyed with the decisions of referee Alan Craig after Flyers went the full match without receiving a single powerplay.
“It was very one-sided,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that - to almost have a full 60 mintues without one minor.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes. Guys just need to stay together, whether the refs are on our side or not.”
Flyers lost the opening goal after just 10 seconds but Roehl insisted that did not affect the team’s approach.
“That happens,” he said. “There’s 59 minutes left in the game, so we had a lot of time to respond.
“We had some good chances and a couple were pretty close to going in. If one of them went in it could’ve been a different hockey game.”
The Belfast defeat came 24 hours after Flyers first win over Dundee Stars this season at the fifth attempt.
“They’ve had our number the last few games so it was a big win for us,” Roehl said.
“It gives us a little momentum for when we face them in the future.”
Flyers face Braehead Clan back-to-back this weekend with an away match on Saturday followed by a home encounter on Sunday. Both games count towards the league standings while Saturday’s game also doubles up as a Challenge Cup clash.
“We’ll hopefully get some bodies back in the line-up because it’s a big weekend for us,” Roehl said. “Guys are playing more minutes and that’s a factor, but if we keep things simple and play smart it shouldn’t matter if we’re missing one or two guys.
“We’ve had some good wins against big clubs this season. We just need to figure out a way to do it for back-to-back nights.”