Fife Flyers game tonight is POSTPONED

Danick Gauthier is crumpled against the boards in a hit that left him injured, and earned Yann Sauve a two-game ban. Pic: Steve Gunn
Danick Gauthier is crumpled against the boards in a hit that left him injured, and earned Yann Sauve a two-game ban. Pic: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers match against Edinburgh Capitals tonight (Wednesday} will not now go ahead as scheduled.

The club had orginally announced that the clash with their capital rivals would face-off at 7.30 pm as planned, despite the severe weather warnings in place for the Kingdom this evening.

But in a statement released just after 3 pm, Flyers confirmed that the decision had been made to call the game off.

The statement said: “Following on from discussions with the home team, away team and all officials, throughout the course of today, Fife Flyers can confirm that this evenings game vs Edinburgh Capitals will be postponed.

“Due to the congestion with March fixtures, we do not have an alternative date in mind yet for the rearranged game, however we will keep fans posted on this and update as soon as possible.

“Anyone with tickets for tonight’s game can exchange these at the box office for an alternative game in March, or for the rearranged fixture. (Original tickets must be presented at the box office in order to facilitate the exchange).

“More info regarding the rearranged game to follow.”

Flyers would have gone into the game with a raft of injuries, and are looking to make a last-minute signing to bolster the bench in the push for the play-offs.

Goaltender Andy Iles, defencemen Russ Moyer and Ian Young, and forwards Danick Gauthier, Dan Correale and Evan Bloodoff are all carrying knocks of varying severity.

It leaves the Gardiner Conference champions down to the bare bones, and with uncertainty over how long the injured players are out for, the coaching staff are keen to bring in cover.

However, with the March 1 transfer deadline falling tomorrow (Thursday), time is against the club.

Assistant coach Jeff Hutchins explained: “There’s going to be a skeleton squad and guys are going to get some opportunities that they haven’t had at this level.

“Some might be out longer than others, but there is a little bit of concern at the moment over whether we’re going to have a full squad for the rest of the way.

“We’re currently in discussions with the owners to see if we can bolster the squad. We’re working on some things, but whether that gets signed off or not, I don’t know, and the timelines are quite tight.”

The injury to Bloodoff, the club’s leading goalscorer, is causing particular concern.

“He’s been injured for some time now and we don’t know how long it’s going to take to heal, or if it’s going to heal at all,” Hutchins said.

“It’s one of those wait-and-see injuries where there’s no direct timeline with it.”

Dan Correale is recovering from a hit into the boards which earned Nottingham Panthers’ defenceman Tim Billingsley a 2+10 checking from behind penalty in the first period of Saturday’s 5-4 penalty shots win, with Hutchins adding: “We are testing Dan as we speak.

“We’re not hopeful for Wednesday, but there’s a chance he’ll be ready for the weekend.

“I don’t think it was an overly aggressive hit, I think their guy was just playing hard on the body and I don’t think he was ready for it.

“The particular area that he hit onto the boards caused the issue, not so much that it was a bad, dirty play. He just pushed him into the back of the pants and he moved forward.

“They were both standing still, so I could see that wasn’t going to get any suspension.”

Danick Gauthier was also injured in the Saturday’s first period, with Panthers’ Yann Sauve ejected on a five plus game major for boarding, which was subsequently upgraded to a two-game suspension by DOPs.

“It was reckless and really scary, and if we’re in a position to lose him for a long time, then I don’t think two games was a sufficient enough ban,” Hutchins said.

“Considering a guy throws his stick in the middle of the ice gets six games. The priorities and severity of punishment vary sometimes.”

Charlie Mosey was also injured in the same fiesty first period although he recovered as Nottingham tried, and ultimately failed, to knock Fife off their stride despite a physical, forceful approach.

“I would like to think they didn’t go out there to intentionally hurt people, I guess these things happen,” Hutchins said.

“From their perpsective we’d beaten them twice already and they wanted to come out and stamp their authority on the game by being aggressive and pushing.

“I like the way we stood up and battled back with them, which we’ve done all year. Braehead tried that at the beginning of the season but when someone slaps us in the face it spurs us on even more.”

On Gauthier’s injury, Hutchins revealed: “Danick is still getting tests. The x-rays came back negative, but there’s other things in the body besides bones so he needs to get a further scan.

“We would know that today or tomorrow.”

Goalie Iles started the match in Sheffield on Sunday despite tweaking a muscle in the warm-up, but was quickly replaced by Jordan Marr after conceding a goal from the first shot on net.

Flyers went on to lose 8-1 to Steelers.

“Andy was probably not ready to go into net,” Hutchins admitted. “He thought he could go, but the first shot caught him off guard, and he realised at that point he couldn’t go on any longer.

“Andy has been such a big part of our team all year long, and being down some guys already, and them scoring on the first shift, it was going to be really hard for us to get stuck into that game.”

Top-scoring D-man Young also missed the weekend matches after taking a puck to the face in the overtime victory in Dundee the previous week which clinched the conference.

Hutchins stated: “His face looks better but he’s still suffering a little bit from the after-effects so I wouldn’t expect he will be in on Wednesday, and we don’t know if he’ll be in for the weekend.”

This weekend Flyers host Manchester Storm on Saturday before travelling to Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday.