Flyers execute thrilling OT victory

Fife Flyers celebrate OT win over Nottingham (Pic: Steve Gunn)
Fife Flyers celebrate OT win over Nottingham (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Wins won’t come any sweeter than this one for Fife Flyers.

Two goals down with barely three minutes to play, they twice pulled netminder Shane Owen, and scored on both opportunities with the extra skater to force overtime.

Matt Sisca nets the winner for Fife Flyers v Nottingham Panthers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Matt Sisca nets the winner for Fife Flyers v Nottingham Panthers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

And with one point secured, they finished the job with a thrilling sudden death goal for a 4-3 victory over Nottingham Panthers.

Credit to Fife for holding their nerve and executing a play that can so often backfire.

In truth, it was no more than they deserved.

They worked hard, soaked up some huge pressure from a Panthers side that came for the win, and held their own across the 60 minutes.

This was a night when two well-matched teams went head to head, and both encountered netminders who were stone walls.

After the disappointment of an OT loss to Edinburgh 24 hours earlier, Fife sent the fans home happy with this win, and a three-point weekend which saw them move into fifth in the table.

Flyers got off to the best possible start with a goal from Ryan Dingle with just 41 seconds played.

That lit up the rink, and set the scene for a keenly contested opening period.

Panthers drew level through David Clarke on ten minutes with a route one approach – a shot that thundered past Shane Owen from close range.

The second period was just as close with chances at both ends.

Panthers got the jump to 2-1 at 32:19 with a smashing goal – Jeff Brown, son of Flyers’ legendary import, Danny, showing a neat burst of speed to get in front of the net and drill the puck home off a pass from Brian McGrattan.

Brendan Brooks then hit the turbo chargers to scorch down centre ice only to be blocked and awarded a penalty shot. The forward over-ran his effort and didn’t get a shot away.

Fife finished strongly, though, with some great chances – Scoon setting up Schaber, and then Cameron doing the groundwork for Haines to shoot narrowly past.

But it was Panthers who grabbed a vital third goal just 34 seconds into the final period, Stephen Schultz’s pass being swept home by McGrattan.

In such a tight match, it was a key moment, and the visitors looked to he heading for a big road win as the clock wound down and Fife found their efforts blocked by a solid looking Miika Wiikman between the pipes.

They needed something special, and it came when they pulled Owen at 57:23 – a decision to go early with the extra skater to give the team a fighting chance.

It paid off within six seconds as Chase Schaber lit the red lamp for 3-2.

With 1:51 remaining, Owen headed to the bench once more. With 1:23 remaining, Fife called a time-out, and, with the last face-off of the night and just four seconds remaining they seized their moment - Bryan Cameron’s touch in front of the net tying the game at 3-3 and sending it into overtime.

That goal gave Fife the impetus going into three-on-three sudden death .

They wanted the win, and they got it as the forwards swarmed round the net, the puck fell to Matt Sisca and he seized the chance for a huge 4-3 victory.