Fife Flyers enjoy shoot-out win as German fans bring the noise

Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Fife Flyers were made to work for their 7-6 old-fashioned shoot-out win over DEL outfit Eispiraten Crimmitschau.

Results may not be the priority issue in any pre-season build-up, but they do give an indication of how a team is shaping up.

Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 - defenceman Rick Pinkston in action  (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 - defenceman Rick Pinkston in action (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

The goals are coming from across the team, but defensively it remains a work in progress.

It’s impossible to assess the strengths of the blue line given the absence of key signing Scott Aarssen, still waiting on a work permit to fly into the UK, and the very recent arrival of returnee Ricards Birzins who made his debut on Saturday.

They were sloppy at times in their own zone, particularly in the second period where the red light flashed every few minutes, but tightened up in the third as the team pushed on for the win.

The game played out to a wall of noise, generated largely by a fantastic travelling support. Flyers’ match night atmosphere could do with that sort of energy off the ice, every night.

Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Fife Flyers v Eispiraten Crimmitschau, 4Nations Competition 2018-19 (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

The German supporters arrived in town to discover Kirkcaldy’s Bavarian Beer Festival in full swing, and they sang, danced, drummed and partied all night long. They were still in fine voice long after the rink emptied, much to the amusement of the reccy team which had, by then, takemn to the ice.

They certainly lit up a match which was a throwback to the good old days of goals galore as the lead changed hands more often than a 4x400m relay race. Flyers were 2-0 down, 3-2 up, and 6-4 in arrears before Dannick Gauthier netted what proved to be the winner after 44 minutes of free-flowing, fun hockey.

Jordan Buesa was the stand-out skater and thoroughly deserved his MoM award for a battling, wholehearted display which saw him chase down players and pucks, and link superbly into a line with Carlo Finucci and Paul Crowder. He has surely done enough to merit a regular starting slot.

That line came up with three goals while Chase Schaber bagged a double.

Quite how Brett Bulmer didn’t add his name to the scoresheet remains a mystery.

The big, imposing forward is still sniffing for his debut goal in a Fife top - it’ll come.

He had several chances, with two falling in the final minute when Eispiraten pulled their netminder. .

The tireless Mike Cazzola hunted down a puck behind the empty net, dropped it into the path of Bulmer who must have looked on in disbelief as his shot was deflected off the skate of a defenceman standing on the goal-line. A second shot from wide then whistled past the net.

That opening goal will come, and, when it does – Saturday versus Clan would be the perfect time – it will probably open the floodgates.

The team, netted some neat goals against Eispiraten, including two on the powerplay and one on a five on three, but also coughed up a short-handed goal to give up the lead in the second.

Their German visitors were fast and determined, and this was a solid workout - the sort Flyers need to get everyone prepared for the opening game of the regular season on September 8.