Fife Flyers’ opening night brings Blaze to town (again)

Scott Fleming. Fife Flyers v Coventry Blaze, September 6, 2014. Pic: Steve Gunn
Scott Fleming. Fife Flyers v Coventry Blaze, September 6, 2014. Pic: Steve Gunn

There are three summer landmarks which every ice hockey fan has noted in their diary - the first import signing, the first sight of the new strip, and the day the fixture list comes out.

The moment the schedule is published it is poured over in fine detail - who is the oppposition on the eagerly awaited opening night, what and where are the double headers and when are the big derbies? Only once those dates are in the diary, can family events - birthdays, weddings and parties - can be factored in accordingly.

Monday’s fixture launch had a touch of deja vu about it.

For the fourth time in five seasons Coventry Blaze will provide the opposition at the start of a new league campaign.

To date, the Midlanders have won the lot - and won with goals to spare in some cases.

The teams actually meet in an opening weekend double header, the third time in five years. Guess what - Blaze have won ‘em, all with scores of 1-0, 4-2, 2-0, and 9-0.

Perhaps it’s time the EIHL tore up the fixtures spreadsheet ...

The opening game alsos means an instant return to Fife for Ned Lukacevic who moved from Flyers to Coventry during the summer.

But the opening weeks ARE key to the campaign with six of the ten games being Challenge Cup fixtures, so Flyers must start picking up points from the opening face-off. Do that and the foundations of the season can be laid with confidence. Miss out, however, and ity becomes a long grind playing catch-up.

September is pretty much taken up with treks around the Scottish circuit, until newcomers Manchester Storm hit the ice at Fife Ice Arena for the very first time on October 3.

Cardiff Devils call on October 17, but sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers don’t come here until December.

There’s the traditional Boxing Day/Hogmanay double header with neighbours Edinburgh and an apparent away double header in Belfast in mid-March. I suspect lots of fans will be booking up that weekend very quickly so let’s hope the league doesn’t then start tinkering with the schedule.

But before the league/conference campaigns face-off there is a hint of some pre-season action - something Flyers badly need to prepare for the campaign.

The opposition remains ‘to be confirmed’ but the dates of August 29-30 have been reserved. Let’s hope it isn’t Coventry ...

August

29/30 Pre-season TBA

september

5 Coventry Blaze L (H)

6 Coventry Blaze (L) A)

12 Braehead Clan CC (H)

19 Dundee Stars CC A)

20 Edinburgh Capitals CC (A)

26 Edinburgh Capitals CC (H)

27 Cardiff Devils L (A)

October

3 Manchester Storm L/Conf (H)

4 Dundee Stars CC (A)

9 Braehead Clan CC (A)

10 Cardiff Devils L (H)

11 Nottingham Panthers L (A)

17 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

18 Edinburgh L/Conf (A)

24 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

25 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

31 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

November

7 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

8 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

14 Manchester Storm L/Conf (H)

15 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

21 Belfast Giants CC (H)

22 Belfast Giants CC (A)

27 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

28 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

29 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

December

5 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

6 Sheffield Steelers L (A)

12 Sheffield Steelers L (H)

13 Nottingham Panthers L (H August

29/30 Pre-season TBA

september

5 Coventry Blaze L (H)

6 Coventry Blaze (L) A)

12 Braehead Clan CC (H)

19 Dundee Stars CC A)

20 Edinburgh Capitals CC (A)

26 Edinburgh Capitals CC (H)

27 Cardiff Devils L (A)

October

3 Manchester Storm L/Conf (H)

04 Dundee Stars CC (A)

9 Braehead Clan CC (A)

10 Cardiff Devils L (H)

11 Nottingham Panthers L (A)

17 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

18 Edinburgh L/Conf (A)

24 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

25 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

31 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

November

7 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

8 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

14 Manchester Storm L/Conf H)

15 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

21 Belfast Giants CC (H)

22 Belfast Giants CC (A)

27 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

28 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

29 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

December

5 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

6 Sheffield Steelers L (A)

12 Sheffield Steelers L (H)

13 Nottingham Panthers L (A)

19 Manchester Storm L/ Conf (H)

20 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

26 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

27 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

31 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

January 2016

02 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

3 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

9 Manchester Storm L/Conf (H)

10 Nottingham Panthers L (A)

16 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

17 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

23 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

24 Cardiff Devils L (A)

29 Braehead Clan L/ Conf (A)

30 Belfast Giants L (H)

31 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

February

6 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

7 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

13 Coventry Blaze L (A)

14 Coventry Blaze L (H)

20 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

25 Cardiff Devils L (H)

28 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

March

1 Belfast Giants L (H)

6 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

13 Nottingham Panthers L (H)

18 Belfast Giants L (A)

19 Belfast Giants L (A)

20 Sheffield Steelers L (H)

*** TBA - sheffield v Fife

** All game subject to change ... and a few probably will be!

Fife Flyers’ opening night brings Blaze to town (again)

Allan Crow

allan.crow@jpress.co.uk)

19 Manchester Storm L/ Conf (H)

20 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

26 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

27 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

31 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

January 2016

02 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

3 Dundee Stars L/Conf (A)

9 Manchester Storm L/Conf (H)

10 Nottingham Panthers L (A)

16 Dundee Stars L/Conf (H)

17 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

23 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

24 Cardiff Devils L (A)

29 Braehead Clan L/ Conf (A)

30 Belfast Giants L (H)

31 Braehead Clan L/Conf (H)

February

6 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (H)

7 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

13 Coventry Blaze L (A)

14 Coventry Blaze L (H)

20 Braehead Clan L/Conf (A)

25 Cardiff Devils L (H)

28 Edinburgh Capitals L/Conf (A)

March

1 Belfast Giants L (H)

6 Manchester Storm L/Conf (A)

13 Nottingham Panthers L (H)

18 Belfast Giants L (A)
19 Belfast Giants L (A)

20 Sheffield Steelers L (H)

*** TBA - sheffield v Fife

** All game subject to change ... and a few probably will be!