Few highlights in season best forgotten for Fife Flyers

Jonas Emmerdahl (Pic: shotbyagunn photography)Jonas Emmerdahl (Pic: shotbyagunn photography)
Jonas Emmerdahl (Pic: shotbyagunn photography) | shotbyagunn photography Do not copy, use without permission
Fife Flyers’ summer signing news trickled out slowly over last summer following their 80th anniversary year which saw their second highest points return in the Elite League, but also held a play-off run marred with injury.

Hope returned to the faithful fanbase when key players, Chase Schaber and Carlo Finucci signed for another year.

New signing, Jonas Emmerdahl promised a new defensive spark for the team and the goaltending position left from Shane Owen’s departure to Belfast Giants was filled by Adam Morrison.

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Four prime targets played summer hockey in Australia’s AIHL with returning fan-favourite, Danick Gauthier, lifting the play-off trophy.

There were mixed results at the start of the season as Flyers were eliminated at the group stages of the Challenge Cup, but took early leads in league play.

By October, the team had briefly topped the Elite League once again and were having a run of good form – except from one heavy defeat to Sheffield Steelers.

The team also began to take injuries to key players and Schaber was out for another spell, and British talent, Sam Jones also sustained an injury which kept him out until January.

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Despite the adversity, the team kept ticking along with some big victories over the Cardiff Devils, rivals Glasgow Clan and Belfast Giants in November.

Without the ability to draft in reinforcements, the strain was beginning to hit the team.

With just two wins from ten games in December, concerns around the team were deepening.

Every issue the club faced led to more fans getting disgruntled as the team had wiped out their early good work.

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The situation would not get better as the festive season approached.

An overtime win at Manchester Storm on December 21 was their last taste of victory for many weeks as they would begin a run of 14 games without a result.

January was a miserable month for Flyers as they only secured one point from eight games.

They were rooted to the bottom of the table and were in serious jeopardy of facing elimination from the play-offs.

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There was some good news in January as Carlo Finucci became the club’s top points scorer in the EIHL era, surpassing 200 points in all competitions.

A ‘do or die’ weekend in February against their two closest teams in the standings yielded a convincing home win against Dundee Stars proved the team was not finished. Another point the following night kept them afloat.

A convincing win over Sheffield Steelers, and their first four-point weekend in months kept the team competitive, but they struggled on the road in what would be the final two weekends of the season which once again brought them to the brink of play-off elimination.

Flyers were facing a showdown tie against their biggest rivals, Glasgow Clan in March, but the cancellation of all remaining fixtures due to COVID-19 brought a premature end to the season.

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Since the shutdown, the Elite League announced that all player stats from this season would remain valid and therefore Finucci’s points record would stand is a small comfort to fans in an otherwise forgettable season.

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Thank you

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