Under-strength Fife Flyers were 12 minutes from a four-point weekend, but a late collapse saw them beaten again by Edinburgh Capitals.
It was a painful way to end a weekend in which players dug deep and showed their true character with a gutsy win over Coventry Blaze and a near carbon copy performance to lead Caps 4-1 in the city on Sunday.
But, once again, they couldn’t close the door on a spirited Caps side which grabbed a lifeline goal, added a swift second, and powered to a stunning 5-0 third period scoreline for an overall 6-4 victory.
Flyers went into the game with just two lines and rolling four defencemen, but Todd Dutiaume, head coach, was in no mood to use that as an excuse after the final buzzer.
‘‘That’s the second time this has happened against these guys. We have to learn lessons quickly,’’ he said. ‘‘I could throw in excuses of tiredness and being short benched, but I won’t.
‘‘We didn’t keep it simple in the third. We scrambled and looked out of sorts in the third. We didn’t find a way to close the game.’’
‘‘It was end to end at times. The puck bounced for us in the second and not for them - they missed their chances, but then capitalised in the third.
‘‘Last night we had all the answers to closing players down. Tonight, we had some guys going for personal points and not sticking to the plan.
‘‘That’s two games against Caps we’’ve been in control.’’
Flyers seemed to have this game under full control after another huge effort from the team to carve out a 4-1 lead after two periods.
Ryan Dingle, who covered every inch of the ice pad, cracked the game open at 18:44 with a powerplay goal - he won the face-off, saw the gap and had the puck in the net before Caps’ netminder Travis Fullerton could even move.
Matt Sisca made it 2-0 at 22:28 before Pavel Vorobyev opened Caps’ account 60 seconds letter.
Chase Schaber’s tip on Russ Moyer’s shot from the point made it 3-1 at 27:14, and then barely 90 seconds later Moyer threw the puck of defence to Dingle who fed Sisca for a clinical fourth before the buzzer.
That ought to have sealed the game, but, momentum in hockey can change at the flick of a switch.
Matt Tipoff made amends for two huge misses when he netted at 42:16 and Karel Hromas’ goal at 43:26 zapped energy through Caps’ bench.
Fife called an immediate time out and killed a hooking call against Schaber only to cough a fourth at 47:”6 – Tipoff again netting at the back post.
Shane Owen made a huge double save as Fife were pushed on to the back foot. There were just five minutes remaining when Jacob Johnston tried a wraparound, and when the puck broke, Ian Schultz buried it in the net to give Caps the lead for the very first time.
Handed 56th minute power play, Flyers pulled Owen for a six on four advantage.
They kept possession and swarmed round Caps net, but, inevitably, the puck became loose, and Jacob Johnston hit the empty net on the breakaway.