EIHL: Devils dance to Fife’s tune

Fife Flyers celebrate a stunning comeback win in Cardiff (Pic: Helen Brabon)
Fife Flyers celebrate a stunning comeback win in Cardiff (Pic: Helen Brabon)

If there was an award for ‘Comeback of the Season’ then the trophy would be sitting in Fife Flyers dressing-room already.

Rallying from 5-1 down may well have been done before in ice hockey, but not against the league champions – and not on their ice pad.

Action from the Manchester Storm-Edinburgh Capitals game (Pic: Dean Rose)

Action from the Manchester Storm-Edinburgh Capitals game (Pic: Dean Rose)

Flyers’ stunning victory captured everyone’s attention at the weekend.

Six powerplay goals, one short-handed counter and an empty net goal helped to seal the sweetest of road wins.

Dannick Gauthier led with four goals, but this was a remarkable team performance – one summed up in the image of the whole bench celebrating at the final buzzer.

After the high came the return to earth, with a 6-1 loss in Guildford the following night.

Action from the 2nd period, Braehead Clan v Dundee Stars (Pic:  Al Goold)

Action from the 2nd period, Braehead Clan v Dundee Stars (Pic: Al Goold)

Shayne Stockton gave Fife an early lead, but Flames delivered a ruthless four-goal second period to ensure the points stayed at The Spectrum.

But the win in Wales was enough to nudge Flyers – a team clearly enjoying every weekend on the ice –into the top six as teams across the EIHL endured up and down weekends.

Devils experienced a rare zero-point weekend, as they went to Nottingham and crashed 7-4.

They were 3-2 up thanks to an Andrew Hotham strike going into the final period, but Panthers underlined why they are the league’s form team with a strong finale.

Brett Perlini’s goal – older fans will recall his dad, Fred, icing for Fife Flyers in the 1980s – for 4-2 with five minutes to play was key, and they closed out the game to move to the top of the table.

It was Panthers’ sixth win on the spin.

The only side currently close to matching that run is Braehead Clan, currently back in ninth spot.

After a stuttering start to the campaign, they finally clicked with a much-needed four-point weekend thanks to a 3-2 home win over Dundee Stars, and then a tight 1-0 victory at MK Lightning.

Tyler Scofield struck the only goal as Lightning – icing without suspended enforcer, Matt Nickerson – failed to exploit three powerplay chances in the final period.

Manchester Storm briefly regained top spot in the table in a mixed weekend.

An easy 7-1 win over Edinburgh Capitals nudged them into pole position, only for a thumping 9-3 loss in Belfast to knock them back off.

Steve Saviano had a hat-trick in this huge win – one of his goals coming within 12 seconds of a counter from team-mate Colin Shields.

Caps’ miserable week did finish on a high as they finally snapped a dispiriting 13-game losing at the expense of Coventry Blaze.

They took the game 5-2, but were actually close to a shut out having built up a solid 4-0 lead.

It took Blaze until the 53rd minute to find the net, but the night belonged to Caps with two goals from former NHL forward Pavel Vorobyev a key part of the win.

The Edinburgh side now have an even tougher week ahead as they unveil plans to restructure after a petition was lodged for the business to be wound up.

A hearing took place last week at The Royal Courts of Justice to wind up Capitals Hockey Limited, whose director is Caps’ owner Scott Neil.

On the ice, the weekend schedule takes Capitals – who will complete the season – to Braehead on Saturday, returning for a Sunday home game against Dundee.

Currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the table, the Edinburgh side must take points from their Scottish rivals, both in the bottom four teams, if they are to have any hope of keeping their season alive.

Dundee host Guildford Flames on Saturday, while Flyers welcome Cardiff Devils to Kirkcaldy for an instant re-match.

If it is half as thrilling as the Welsh encounter, the fans are in for a treat ...