Justin DaCosta scored his first goal for Fife Flyers on Saturday night, only to have it overshadowed by one that didn’t count.
The defenceman netted Flyers’ first goal in the 4-4 draw with Nottingham Panthers, but his night ended on a sour note in the penalty shoot-out when his effort was ruled out by referee Rab Cowan despite appearing to cross the line.
The decision left DaCosta puzzled as Nottingham made off with the two points.
“When I made the move I chipped it through the goalie’s five-hole, but because of the way he fell I couldn’t really see where the puck was,” DaCosta told the Press.
“But when I turned and looked back I could see that it was past the line a little bit.
“I wasn’t upset because I could see that it was in and I thought we were still in the shoot-out.
“I was very surprised when the ref waved it off just like that, especially without asking the goal judge.
“There was a guy by the penalty box with a camera and it clearly showed the puck was over the line.”
Despite the controversy, DaCosta believes Flyers should look on the bright side after an improved performance against last season’s league, cup and play-off champions.
“It’s obviously frustrating but you’ve got to forget about it and take the positives,” he said.
“We came back two goals down against Nottingham who were the top team last year.You can tell guys are starting to gel a bit more after a good week of practice and working on our systems.Things are coming along nicely.”
DaCosta followed up his goal against Panthers with another in Coventry on Sunday night. “I like to be the fourth forward out there and contribute offensively,” he said.
DaCosta played for Kookoo in Finland last season alongside Matt Nickerson and he is looking forward to his team mate returning from his ban.
“Matty’s a good guy and a really good player,” he said. “He’s solid defensively and he’ll make sure things dont get out of hand out there.
“I know he feels bad for what he did, and he’ll learn from it, and move on. I became good friends with him last year, and I’m looking forward to playing with him this year.”