Fife Flyers 3-1 Guilford Flames
Fife Flyers welcomed old BNL sparring-partners Guildford Flames to the Fife Ice Arena on Saturday evening.
This game was the start of the club’s festive programme, but this was far from a Christmas cracker.
The opening exchanges were fraught and as a result there wasn’t a lot in the way of clear scoring opportunities for either side.
Flyers went on the powerplay after Jesse Craige was penalised for a high-stick on Danick Gauthier, but it was the visitors who thought they had taken a short-handed lead through an Ian Watters slapshot, but after video review, the officials washed the goal out.
The second period began in much of the same vein, with goalscoring opportunities at a premium.
Fife had certainly raised their tempo, but were almost caught out after Rick Pinkston had his pocket picked at centre-ice, but the Flames were unable to capitalise.
Watters thought he had once again broken the deadlock, but was again denied after video review, due to goaltender interference in the lead up to the goal.
Flames began period three on the powerplay, but a combination of some stoic defensive play and some exceptional goaltending from Owen further frustrated the away side.
Parity was finally broken when Evan Stoflet threw the puck on net, and top-scorer Paul Crowder got the final touch to divert past Fullerton at 45.23.
Fife doubled their advantage on 51.58 when Gauthier fired the puck into traffic and Bari McKenzie was alert to slip the puck beyond Fullerton.
Flames reduced the deficit on 55.48 through Ian Watters snipe after Kruise Reddick’s neat pass, before the hosts sealed victory through Brett Bulmer’s empty net finish from mid-ice.
Flyers boss Todd Dutiaume was thrilled with his team’s resilience to get the win.
“We weren’t perfect, but the work ethic was there, and that’s how we ground out results earlier in the season” be reflected.
“That was key to us being a successful hockey team, to have to be mature in a high-pressure situation, when the care level went up, it showed” he added.
Dutes also looked forward to next Saturday’s derby fixture against Glasgow Clan.
“They’re certainly a team that’s heating up, they got off to a slow start, but they’ve certainly produced a number of fantastic results of late” he said.
Flyers take on Clan at 7.15.