Flyers unable to spoil Devils' title party
Cardiff Devils 6 Fife Flyers 1
Cardiff Devils won their first league title in 20 years in Sheffield on Saturday but if there was any hangover from the newly crowned champions, Fife Flyers were unable to take advantage as they suffered a 6-1 defeat at Ice Arena Wales on Sunday night.
This wasn't so much a Championship winning party as an end of season game with nothing really hanging on it and both teams looked like they weren't wanting to pick up injuries going into the play offs as there wasn't much passion and aggression in the first period.
Flyers certainly weren't outclassed in that first twenty and should have gone into the first break with a comfortable lead as the visitors blew three one-on-one chances against back up netminder Tom Murdy, and also spurned a lengthy 5 on 3 powerplay.
Flyers paid the price when Shane Owen over committed and Asselin scored into the empty net for a first period Devils lead at 17.41.
Devils showed the visitors how to take advantage of powerplays as Haddad tipped one in front of Owen on their first opportunity at 23.01 and Culligan appeared to finish the contest with Devils third goal, which saw him all alone at Flyers back post after a defensive break down at 34.55.
Flyers did give themselves some hope with a superb Chase Schaber shot over Murdy's shoulder at 40.50 but this only seemed to wake the Devils up as they scored goals at 42.44 through Andrew Hotham, 44.41 from Scott Hotham and 48.16 from Layne Ulmer to completely kill the game and from then on both teams went through the motions.
Flyers gave rest to key forwards Brooks and Dingle and used their whole bench with shifts for Smith, Gunn and Wilson.
Flyers weren't outclassed in this game and they did play some really nice hockey at times but defensive lapses cost them as some players appeared not to be concentrating.
When you go into away buildings you have to take your opportunities and Flyers didn't do that and ultimately paid the price.
They were fortunate that this was effectively a dead rubber and were able to give everybody apart from back-up goalie Craig Douglas ice time.
They will need to keep their concentration for 120 minutes for the play off quarter final in two weeks time, which currently looks like Belfast, although there is still a scenario where they could meet Braehead Clan in those games.
SoG: Murdy 10-12-9 = 31; Owen 11-15-13 = 39.