Two late goals put a coat of gloss on a long night in Altrincham for Fie Flyers as they went down 7-3 to Manchester Storm.
Had this match ended 7-1 they could have had few grounds for complaint.
On the night, they were simply second best, unable to wrestle the tempo of the game from a Storm side that flew at them like a bullet from a gun, and simply kept going all night long.
On a tight ice pad, Fife struggled to breathe.
They were pinned in their own zone for the opening minutes of the hockey game with constant traffic swarming round Shane Owen’s net.
While the shots on goal may have tied at 29 apiece, there is no doubt he was the netminder under more pressure across the 60 minutes.
At the other end of the pad, Mike Clemente was not tested nearly enough to spark the comeback Fife needed.
They did start the second period with intent, and carved out some quick chances, but the goal they needed to begin to turn the game didn’t come until they were 5-0 down.
Patrik Valcak, Storm’s MoM, was at the heart of this home win.
He netted the opener, assisted on the next two, and took the first two of their minor penalties. In short, he was everywhere.
Darian Dryziurznski was just as influential as Storm added to their tally to ensure this game was always within their command.
Mario Trabucco got their first powerplay of the night for 2-0 – Storm were 2/3 for the night while Fife were nought for five – and Mark Heatley kept the scoreboard ticking in the second period with a touch on Trevor Johnson’s wrister from the blue line.
Fife had powerplay opportunities, but Storm’s penalty kill was excellent all night long, giving Flyers little to work with, and forming a solid wall round their zone.
When Dyzuirzynski made it 4-0 on the half hour, it was clear this game was slipping further and further away from Fife.
And when he added a fifth, skating free and netting with a clinical finish, it was pretty much all over before the second buzzer.
Dingle’s early third period strike stemmed the flow, but the only other highlight from the final stanza, as far as the travelling Fife fans were concerned, came when Tommy Muir and Adam Harding decided to drop the gloves.
Muir threw pretty much all of the punches as Harding did little more than jab with the hand holding on to top of the defenceman’s jersey.
They both sat fives for fighting, and by the time they returned it was 6-1 with the goal of the game – a fantastic strike from Trevor Dickin which flew in from wide on the left. It was one worthy of Storm’s 300th in the EIHL.
Harding made it seven on the powerplay before Fife netted a late, late double courtesy of Paquet – a neat one-time shot off a Fox pass and then a rebound off the netminder for Sisca as the clock wound down.
The result meant Fife have conceded 13 goals in two games over four days, netting just four in return.
They need to steady the ship quickly.