Fife Flyers 6 Edinburgh Capitals 2
Fife Flyers proved too strong for Edinburgh Capitals as they maintained their 100 per cent start to this season's Gardiner Conference.
The result was never in serious doubt - despite a performance that drifted off script in period two - and nor should it have been against a Caps side currently marooned at the foot of the table.
After beating Cardiff and Nottingham on their own pads in the past fortnight, failure to take home ice advantage against the team with the poorest record in the EIHL would have been an enormous let down.
But, so far at least, this Fife team doesn't do let downs and head coach Todd Dutiaume was satisfied with the 6-2 victory.
"We controlled big portions of the game, but Edinburgh are a tough team to play against and the team we faced tonight are not as poor as their record would suggest," he said.
"They certainly took advantage of our mismanagement of the puck at times, and made us pay, but when we were playing the right way, and making good decisions with the puck, you saw that the opportunities were there and the game was always asking to be opened up."
The teams go head to head again tonight at Murrayfield, where the Caps are always a different proposition, as Dutes acknowledged.
"It will be a completely different hockey game," he said, and Flyers will need to seriously guard against the complacency that crept into parts of this game.
The Kirkcaldy side were at full strength as they welcomed Evan Bloodoff back into the line-up after he missed last week's comeback in Nottingham with an arm injury.
Much was made of the drop in crowds and atmosphere in the build-up to the game, and another sparse crowd, just 1550, continued the trend, although credit to a small band in section G who tried to liven things up with some sporadic signing.
It was the team's third line that set the tone for the performance with some high-energy early shifts leading to the opening goal on 7.12
James Isaacs, a workhorse all night, won the puck in Caps zone, swapped passes with Shayne Stockton and then managed to find Carlo Finucci in front of the net, making the pass despite falling to his knees, and his line mate made no mistake from close range.
Flyers were dominating but one ragged shift almost saw them hit with a sucker punch and required Russ Moyer to make a goal-line block before Andy Iles made a blinding save to deny the dangerous Pavel Vorobyev.
That proved a wake-up call as Flyers doubled their advantage shortly afterwards thanks to a peach of a strike through traffic from Danick Gauthier, with Caps netminder Pavel Shegalo's protestations over a man in his crease earning him a 10-minute misconduct.
The 2-0 scoreline at the end of the first period was an accurate and fair reflection of the control Fife had, but they lost concentration in the second period with some loose play, and unnecessary penalties, allowing Caps to pick up the scent of a comeback.
Despite this, Bloodoff went close with a stunning solo effort that rattled the inside of the post, before Stockton's sharp one-timer off Finucci's pass from the backboards made it 3-0 on 28.32.
Caps pulled one back on the powerplay through Nikita Kolesnikovs' booming slapshot on 32.01, and a kneeing penalty called on Liam Heelis shortly afterwards gave the visitors the chance to really put some pressure on the scoreboard.
However, this Fife side have shown they can still be dangerous with a man short, and Stockton grabbed the team's sixth shorthanded goal of the campaign, chasing a lost cause behind the Caps net, forcing a dreadful mistake between netminder and D-man, which left him the simple task of sliding the puck into the empty net to restore the three-goal margin.
That strike was cancelled out, however, within 20 seconds as Caps scored on the same powerplay, Kolesnikovs with his second of the night, to keep the away side in with a glimmer of hope going into the third period.
Flyers extinguished any such notion with a much more sensible third period display, defending solidly and waiting for their chances, and when the Caps overloaded in attack, Flyers picked them off on the break with Heelis leading the charge, and Gauthier picked up the rebound for 5-2 on 48.59.
Flyers were then awarded a penalty shot when Chase Schaber was pulled back in front of an empty net, but Shegalo denied him in the one-on-one.
The sixth goal arrived on 52.40 as Bloodoff got the goal he had threatened all night with a first-time shot off Peter LeBlanc's pass and only some late heroics from Shegalo prevented Flyers from adding to the tally.
Completing a four-point weekend tonight will be every bit as important as those victories south of the border.