A four-point weekend for Fife Flyers and against conference rivals too, where they have struggled badly this season.
A 3-1 win in Kirkcaldy tonight completed a quick double over Manchester Storm, and opened up a four-point gap between the clubs in the EIHL – and kept Fife solidly in mid-table.
The results also nudged them up to second in the conference, albeit a hefty nine points behind leaders Braehead Clan.
Sunday’s win was close, but deserved, against a Manchester side that had its fair share of chances.
Storm finished the opening period strongly, with Paul Philips cashing in on a delayed penalty to poke the puck home after some sustained pressure round Shane Owen’s net at 17:!0.
Flyers had a great chance to equalise in the 26th minute when Brendan Brooks was clipped as he raced in on goal. Referee Neil Wilson awarded a penalty shot, and Brooks saw his shot beat the netminder only to flick off the base of the post.
Brooks made amends with a simple tap-in just six minutes later as the powerplay unit delivered – Moyer’s shot off the netminder landing almost on his stick right in front of the open net.
Ryan Dingle then delivered a key go-ahead goal nine seconds before the buzzer as he shot the puck past Mike Clemente.
Flyers needed a third goal to kill off a dogged Storm side in an open third period.
In the closing minutes, Russ Moyer took two plus two for accidental high sticks – the second minor for drawing blood – and Storm pulled their netminder for a six on four last-gasp push.
They swarmed round Owen’s net but the keeper tracked every puck, and, as the clock wound down, they cleared the zone.
Knowing it was over, a defenceman threw it back up the ice only to find the stick of Justin Fox who hit the empty net with exactly one second remaining to seal a 3-1 win.
Todd Dutiaume, head coach, welcomed the four-point weekend, adding: ‘‘It was important to win both games this weekend.’’