Flyers slip to first conference defeat in Dundee

Dundee Stars players celebrate a goal in the 4-2 win over Fife Flyers. Pic: Derek Black
Dundee Stars players celebrate a goal in the 4-2 win over Fife Flyers. Pic: Derek Black

Dundee Stars 4 Fife Flyers 2

Fife Flyers suffered their first Gardiner Conference defeat of the season this evening as they went down 4-2 at Dundee Ice Arena.

The Kirkcaldy side also surrendered a five-game winning streak in the EIHL on a night when they went 0/8 on the powerplay and outshot their hosts 33-22.

Head coach Todd Dutiaume admitted his team may have been guilty of under-estimating a Stars side struggling near the foot of the table.

"The guys were probably guilty of thinking this would be an easy game," he said.

"It was something the coaching staff had certainly warned against throughout the week, but we were disengaged for two periods of hockey.

"We woke up in the third and looked a little more like ourselves, and although their goaltender played well, we didn't really look dangerous offensively.

"Unfortunately, in a crucial conference match, we were definitely far from our best."

Fife were without the injured Charlie Mosey while a short-benched Dundee side were missing Chris Lawrence and Johan Andersson.

The night started in positive fashion for the visitors as they opened the scoring on 11.27 with their seventh short-handed goal of the season through Evan Bloodoff.

However, Dundee levelled on the same powerplay with Riley Stadel's slapshot making it 1-1 just 33 seconds later.

A minute later, Gabriel Lévesque was left unmarked at the back post to put Dundee ahead, and the home side took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission thanks to a Malcolm Gould strike on 15.43.

Things got worse for Fife in the second period when they conceded a fourth, and a third PP goal on the night, as Jimmy Jensen's effort took a deflection past netminder Andy Iles on 35.14.

Flyers have shown remarkable powers of recovery on the road this season - coming from behind to beat the likes of Cardiff, Nottingham and Sheffield - but the failure to capitalise on several powerplay opportunities, including two 5 on 3s in the third period, meant there was no way back.

Fife did reduce the deficit with only 29 seconds left but Liam Heelis effort proved too little, too late.

Dutiaume is looking for a positive reaction from his players as they take the long bus journey to Guildford Flames tomorrow.

"We're more than capable of putting in a performance but we have to be in the right mind-frame," he said.

"We have to put this behind us and go down there and play with a little desperation and hunger to get back onto the winning side of things."