Fife Flyers: 2000 fans celebrate massive 4-3 win to move into top six

There were just over 2000 fans at Fife Ice Arena tonight to see Fife Flyers’ play-off bandwagon roll on and deliver a huge 4-3 overtime win over Belfast Giants - a result that pushed them team up to sixth spot in the standings.
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It may not have been their sharpest performance of this campaign, but, once again, they found a way to win a hockey game - one of the defining qualities of Tom Coolen’s team. Down 2-0 and 3-2, and struggling to find their sharpness, Flyers tied the game and then won it in sudden death.

The plaudits went to Troy Lajeunesse for a hat-trick goal that had baseball hats flying from the stands on to the ice in a moment of celebration. The reality was his shot was tipped in by Teemu Pulkinnen. Whoever gets the credit, it was a huge goal, and another significant step towards a spot in the play-offs which has been their goal since the start of the season.

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It was Lajeunesse who dragged Fife to level pegging with two goals from two shots inside 30 seconds, and that contribution alone was enough to merit the home MoM award.

Troy Lajuenesse celebrates hitting the net against Belfast Giants (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)Troy Lajuenesse celebrates hitting the net against Belfast Giants (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Troy Lajuenesse celebrates hitting the net against Belfast Giants (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Playing their first game in eight days, Fife couldn’t quite find their rhythm in an opening period which was back and forth with few clear cut chances. Giants got the go-ahead goal at 10:58 when a pass from the right to left was swept into the net by Ben Lake. Shane Owen then came up with a huge save to deny them a two goal lead.

Flyers needed a good start to the second period. They made the worst start when, with 57 seconds played Lake struck again - Kyle Osterberg's move down the ice was halted by Daniel Tedesko who set up Josh Roach to tee up the opening.

Giants had more composure than Fife, whose passing game lacked its usual crispness, but hockey is a game of momentum, and it took just 30 seconds to shake it up. After passing up a tantalising two on one break, Flyers struck as a pass from the back boards was turned home b y Lajuenesse at 30:39. On the very next shift, he drilled a shot home from wide on the left, sparking an immediate time out from Giants.

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Tedesko had Belfast back in front on a powerplay, and Fife went into the third chasing that one goal to tie this game. They passed on three powerplays before striking - Jonas Emmerdahl taking step to his right before shooting, and Vitalijs Pavlovs bagging the rebound with less than five minutes on the clock.

More than half of sudden death overtime had expired - including a powerplay for Flyers - before they delivered the coup de grace as Lajeunesse pulled the trigger from the night and the puck hit the net, via that crucial Pulkinnen tip.

Another one goal hockey game, another two huge points for a team brimming with momentum.

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