Flyers look forward to Danish test

Fife Flyers new signing Scott Fleming, Chris Auger and Jamie Milam at Fife Ice Arena ahead of their first training session. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Fife Flyers new signing Scott Fleming, Chris Auger and Jamie Milam at Fife Ice Arena ahead of their first training session. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
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Fife Flyers return to the ice this weekend with a pre-season double-header against unfamiliar opposition.

Flyers will take on Danish side Aalborg Pirates over Saturday and Sunday night at Fife Ice Arena for the Bay Hotel Challenge Cup.

The exhibition games will act as a warm-up event for the competitive action, which begins with an Elite League opener against Coventry Blaze the following Saturday.

Flyers head coach Todd Dutiuame is expecting two good games.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.

“Nothing against Dundee or Edinburgh, but this is a great change of pace for us in terms of pre-season opposition.

“It will be a good stern test, and since we don’t play in the same league, there will be no feeling each other out or being cagey.

“We will be able to properly put each other through our paces and hopefully the people who come to watch will see two really good hockey games.”

Aalborg will have a familiar figure behind the bench - they are coached by former Coventry Blaze and Great Britian boss Paul Thompson.

“Thommo knows his stuff,” Dutiaume added. “He’s got a job in a very good league and has plenty time prepare for this weekend.

“They’ve been at it for the past three weeks and have already played some exhibition games.

“This team will certainly be prepared for us and from what we’ve heard they are a very quick team.

“Every time we get a foreign team into the rink our guys up their game and the arena is loud.

“That will give us a boost but we’ll need to be at our best to beat these guys.”

Flyers are facing a sweat over the paperwork for two key players ahead of the return to action.

On Tuesday, Matt Reber and Ned Lukacevic were still awaiting visas and further delays could see them miss the Aalborg games.

“We’re certainly hoping all the guys make it in time,” Dutiaume said.

“We really want to have a full squad in - not only to do well this weekend but to give us the best possible tune-up before Coventry.

“The exhibition games are a chance to work on line combinations and special teams.

“It’s pretty important to have a full line-up in for this weekend.”

Dutiaume also confirmed that the Flyers board have not sanctioned the signing of a 12th import.

“That was made clear early,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean we won’t push for it, but you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

“What happens when it goes to 13 next year, then 14, 15?

“You can see teams getting into financial difficulties but we can’t let that happen.

“We will be competitive with 11 - I can say that with assurance.

“Where we may get exposed is with injuries and suspensions.”

Dutiaume, who missed all of last season with injury, has indicated that he may attempt to provide cover in such an instance.

“I’m not going to put myself on the ice to embarrass myself,” said the 41-year-old.

“I’ll have to be in game shape and be able to positively contribute to the squad.”

Saturday’s match against Aalborg will face-off at 7.15 p.m, with Sunday’s due to start at 6.00 p.m.