Friendly win for Flyers - but concern over Paquet injury
Fife Flyers 5 EC Peiting 0
Fife Flyers made a solid start to the pre-season with a comprehensive victory over German third division side EC Peiting in front of 1500 fans at Fife Ice Arena last night.
Five goals, five different scorers, and a shut-out for new netminder Shane Owen, who looked composed throughout, was a good night’s work for the new-look side.
While it is difficult to guage the performance against a side some distance below EIHL standard, there were encouraging moments of link-up play, particularly in the forward areas.
Flyers were also missing three imports with the arrival of Ric Jackman and Kyle Follmer delayed due to paperwork, while Phil Paquet missed out through injury.
Head coach Todd Dutiaume confirmed that the Paquet will miss the start of the season and that he is currently looking to sign another import defenceman as cover.
“Any time you see a guy on crutches before the season starts that’s a huge concern,” he said.
“He picked it up in summer training and he let me know as soon as it happened.
“We brought him in and he was skating well, but he was getting a bit of discomfort with it, so we got a scan and it didn’t come back with great news.
“It’s a huge hole to fill but I’m working on that right now and hoping to get some cover in, either short term or long term. We do not want to be short - we’ve been down that road before.”
Some late arrivals meant that Flyers preparations for their opening challenge match involved going over systems just 45 minutes before face-off.
That was reflected in a rather scrappy start to proceedings, which saw the visitors hold their own, but the more Flyers settled into the match, the more dominant they became.
The opener arrived on 16.37 and it was Brendan Brooks, one of several players skating with the team for the first time, who showed his skating prowess as he waltzed through the Peiting defence to slide the puck underneath netminder Florian Hechenrieder. There can’t be many 37-year-old’s who are as quick across the ice as the former Braehead Clan forward.
The second followed a minute later as Ryan Dingle picked up where he left off last seaosn with a perfect back post pass for Sebastian Thinel who did not have to break stride as he guided the puck into the net.
Flyers were getting into a groove and Carlo Finucci made an impression with a stunning solo goal midway through period two, darting inside before sending a backhand effort inside the post.
Chase Schaber seemed to be constantly making things happen and he got in on the act on 38.47 with a close range finish making it 4-0 just seconds after a Flyers powerplay finished.
Flyers added a fifth early in P3 as Matt Sisca turned home Russ Moyer’s pass at the back door, before the game petered out as Flyers ran out of steam.
Flyers also gave ice time to youngsters Marty Simpson and Chad Smith, two players who will be under the wing of Juff Hutchins this season in his player development role.
Dutiaume was pleased with his team’s showing given the short preparation time.
“For the first time together as a partial squad, it was good,” he said.
“We gave them information overload before the game, but for the most part they executed okay.
“We saw some really positive signs and it was a good confidence boost all round.”
Flyers face EC Peiting again in the second challenge match of the weekend tonight, 6.30 p.m face-off at Fife Ice Arena.