Fife Flyers at 80: Near perfect victory in anniversary game

The perfect scoreline for an 80th anniversary game would have been 8-0 – and Fife Flyers very nearly delivered.

They were sitting comfortably 7-0 up against Manchester Storm as the third period ticked away.

Fife Flyers 80th anniversary season logo, 2018-19

Fife Flyers 80th anniversary season logo, 2018-19

In the end they had to settle for a 7-2 victory which pushed them back to second top of the EIHL. The view from there looks pretty good.

Four wins on the spin have got them up and running at the very start of this landmark anniversary, and there was much to savour in this performance and victory.

Joe Basaraba finally shrugged off the injury which has sidelined him since pre-season, and got the opening goal with his first touch in the first minute of his first shift.

Paul Crowder added a second with a neat backhand finish to seal a solid first period.

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If Storm were fairly passive in that opening 20 minutes, the second period saw them fall out of the game completely. Bewildered, bothered and binned.

Getting nowhere, their frustrations surfaced, and a small flurry of minor penalties cost them two power play goals – Evan Bloodoff and then Dannick Gauthier with a one timer off a pinpoint pass from Brett Bulmer ringing the red light.

Gauthier was then invited to dance by Storm’s Riley Stadel – a bit of a mis-match in terms of size, and the poor visiting skater must have wondered why he bothered as he was slapped about the head before both sat out five for fighting.

By the second buzzer, Storm were 5-0 down and out, Bulmer bagging the fifth just 12 seconds left.

The third brought no respite as Bulmer struck again, and Bloodoff got the seventh.

Ciaran Long broke the shut out with 12 minutes remaining, before Shane Owen handed over the blocker to back-up Andy Little for the closing four minutes.

The players stayed on the ice post-game to hand out dozens of balloons to add to the party atmosphere.

All that was missing was a parade of legends and a championship banner to honour the team which earned it last season.

Quite why the club opted to do neither on this special night remains a complete mystery.

These things matter – to players and fans – even more so in an 80th anniversary year.