Flyers’ ‘set-up man’ switches role to score first UK hat-trick

Matt Reber, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn
Matt Reber, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn
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Matt Reber scored his first UK hat-trick on Saturday, but insists he still sees himself as Fife Flyers set-up man.

Reber hit a brilliant treble in the 8-3 win over Edinburgh Capitals, before taking his weekend tally to four with another strike in Sunday’s 5-2 to defeat in Nottingham.

The 25-year-old American forward has now scored 60 points in his debut Elite League season, but with 42 assists and 18 goals, he is more used to creating goals than scoring them.

“Since I was a little kid my dad always preached to pass the puck and use your team mates, so that’s always how I’ve seen myself,” Reber told the Press.

“I always try to look for the pass first so it was a rare weekend for me that I became more of a goalscorer than a set-up guy.

“They were all great plays from my team mates to find me in open space, and I’ll take them whenever I can get them.

“If I can score some goals and help the team win, then great, but it doesn’t really matter who scores the goals.”

The pick of Reber’s weekend counters was his second against Edinburgh - a back post finish after an outrageously skillful assist from line mate Ned Lukacevic.

“Ned is extremely talented,” Reber explained. “Sometimes it’s hard to even read what he’s going to do with it because he’s so crafty.

“But he was able to somehow find some open space and find me at the back door - a really impressive play on his part.”

Flyers have four games left in the regular season to clinch their play-off spot and Reber is confident the team can get the wins they need to clinch a top eight place.

“It might be a cliche, but we’re peaking at right time,” Reber added.

“If we’re able to make the play-offs we’d be a scary opponent for any team, especially over a best of two aggregate score.

“Cardiff have their backs against the wall, same as us, and they’re playing well too.

“They are scratching and clawing for it just like we are, so it’s going to be a good race to the finish.”