Fife Flyers get their mojo back for play-offs
Looks look Fife Flyers have got their mojo back just in time for the play-offs.
The team has delivered a stack of four-point weekends across this season, but few as important as the wins they logged in Belfast and Dundee over Saturday and Sunday.
They travelled short benched and on the back of a tired looking midweek defeat at home to Belfast Giants – a game which saw them cough the opening period 4-0.
Momentum is everything at this stage of the season.
No team can go into the play-offs on a losing streak – and very few can simply switch the burners back on again and wing it to the finals weekend. Hockey just doesn’t work like that.
The points were certainly crucial to the club’s final league position and play-off opposition, but, more than that, they injected fresh energy into the most exhausted of bodies.
Eleven goals netted over two nights, only four conceded - those are the sort of stats coaches like to see.
Suddenly, the midweek back to back games against Nottingham and Sheffield don’t seem quite so punishing or daunting.
There’s third place to shoot for, mathematically even the runners-spot is attainable, although the reality is it is surely destined to go to Manchester Storm, the early pacesetters who have finished the regular season with real zest.
It’d also be fitting if the three conference title winners finished first, second and third in the league.
Victory in Belfast was certainly one to savour. It meant Fife have now beaten every team on the circuit this season – and they couldn’t have timed it better to tick the last one off the list.
They took the first period 2-1, and then led 3-2 before Charlie Mosey’s short-handed goal cracked this game open in the third.
Once again, Fife closed it out from there, Russ Moyer’s late goal putting the final seal on an impressive road win at a place they have struggled all season.
To then add an equally comfortable 6-2 victory in Dundee the following evening suggests this team has once again found ways to win big games – and to do so regardless of who is in, or out, of the line-up.
That resolve is key to plotting a steady path from here to the finals weekend.
And it came against a Stars with everything to play for.
This was one of their last rolls of the dice to hit the play-offs. Flyers killed their aspirations with goals to spare.
Chase Schaber’s hat-trick was immense, while Carlo Finnuci hit yet another empty-netter to maintain what has to be his best season yet in pro hockey, while the MoM awards will have done wonders for the confidence Jordan Marr who has taken over in the nets from the injured Andy Iles.
The play-off finals are certainly within reach for this team which has dug deeper than any Fife EIHL side to produce some genuinely impressive wins at home and, particularly , on the road.
There is silverware in the trophy cabinet.
One the evidence of the weekend, there is still scope for more to be added.
With momentum, anything is possible ...