Fife Flyers opened their pre-season 4Nations Competition with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of University of Manitoba Bisons.
The Canadian visitors clinched victory with a goal just 16 seconds before the buzzer.
The game saw Flyers ice 21 skaters, including several who were on trial or part of their training camp - arguably the biggest bench they have had for many years.
The coaches aim to give them all ice time across the competition - which continues over the next two weekends - and fine tune their lines ahead of the EIHL season starting in September.
Paul Crowder had the honour of netting the first goal of the 80th anniversary campaign, turning home the rebound off an Evan Stoflet slapshot to give Flyers an early lead.
Bisons drew level through Leipsic - a smart move with his line-mate splitting the defence to allow him to finish in front of Shane Owen.
Both sides carved out some good chances, and it’s fair to say Bisons were dominant in the second period - outshooting Fife a hefty 21-6 only to encounter a rock solid Owen who swatted pucks out of thin air and made the art of netminding look effortless. It was no surprise he took the home MoM award.
The winning goal came with just 16 seconds to play, and it was the pick of the goals - Carter Doerksen skating on to a great pass off the right boards before drilling the puck home.
For Todd Dutiaume., head coach, the night was a first chance to see how a new-look team is shaping up.
“We only skated together three times as a group before the game,’’ he said “There is lots more to come from this team.
“We know we have an excellent group of players and they were keen to do well for the fans - I thought Owen was outstanding, particularly in the second period, and had a few chances gone in then maybe things would have loosened up.’’
Flyers continue their 4Nations competition hosting Danish sides Aalborg Pirates on Saturday (7.15pm) and Odense Bulldogs on Sunday (6.30pm)