Fife Flyers 4 Dundee Stars 6: this team is capable of better. It must do better.
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It was a scrappy and unsatisfactory performance from a team that needs to find the solution to its mis-firing and regain the zest which made those opening games such stand outs and raised expectations in the stands.
While the fans directed some of their wrath to the officials over some poor and soft calls, the bottom line was that Fife didn’t deliver for 60 minutes against one of the teams they have to dominate in their series of games if they are to make any headway in the league.Stars were nothing out of the ordinary - more disciplined after their nonsensical macho strutting and posturing of the opening weekends, for sure - but neither were Flyers, and that is a concern among fans. This team has speed and skill, but it needs to sharpen up in front of net and also find ways of winning hockey games.
It also needs to follow the commitment of Kyle Osterberg and Troy Lajeunesse who drove it releentlessly with solid support from Collin Shirley. That they were involved in all four goals speaks volumes.
Flyers started well with Osterberg slamming home the opener at 2:41 only to see Spencer Naas bag the first of his hat-trick to tie it up at 6:12. Shirley had Fife back ahead after 12 minutes, but they didn’t go on to dominate, and, if anything, fell out of the second period when Stars levelled through Anthony Rinaldi on a breakaway, and Naas got their third, although it was more an OG as the puck rolled uncontrolled around Fife’s zone.
Osterberg set up Laujeunesse for the game tying goal at 39:20, but Stars were solid enough in defence to work their way back as soft calls and non-calls from the stripeys surfaced.
Debutant Sean Giles found himself pinned to the ice off the puck, and when no arm went up, his verbals earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Cue Stars go-ahead goal from Drydn Dow. At the face-off, Johnny Walker floored Osterberg without penalty - not even the necessity to scrape some blood from the ice prompted the stripeys to consider a call.
Flyers dug deeper in the third but they were 5-3 down with 11 minutes to play, and couldn’t capitalise on two crucial powerplays. Shirley grabbed a lifeline with their fourth strike at 56:16, and when Kyle Pouncy went for a slashing call at 58:35 they kept Shane Owen out of the net for a six on four all or nothing.
They swarmed round Stars net, and just as Johan Erikkson went for a shot he was bundled over, and the puck thrown the length of the rink into the empty net by Dow - kinda summed up the evening really. A poor result, a disappointing performance. This team is capable of better.It must do better.