Fife Flyers: concussion rules defenceman out of Christmas campaign

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Fife Flyers head into a hectic Christmas schedule with another key injury impacting on its short bench.

Defenceman Reece Cochrane will miss the run of five games in ten days after sustaining a concussion in Sunday’s defeat at Nottingham Panthers.

That schedule starts with a trip to Belfast Giants on Thursday (December 22), the first of three games against the Irish side - and back to back matches against Dundee Stars starting on Boxing Day.

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The hit which left Cochrane concussed was raised with the league, but no further action is likely based on its feedback.

Reece Cochrane is the latest player ruled out through injury (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)Reece Cochrane is the latest player ruled out through injury (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Reece Cochrane is the latest player ruled out through injury (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said: “There was no initial head contact - it was to the shoulder. The head was not the primary target.

“Any time a player is injured we do go to the league to show what happened. We may not always agree with its feedback, but they probably got it right in this case.”

Cochrane’s absence is another blow to a team which has only been able to ice a full roster a handful of times all season. He had established himself as one of its core defencemen and had soaked up additional ice time as injuries bit deep.

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And it comes ahead of a punishing run of five games between December 22 and 31, giving the club little respite or recovery time as it tries to find the winning form which has eluded them on home ice.

Bari McKenzie is likely to switch from the wing to the blue line this weekend to provide some defensive cover.

Seth Bafaro returns to the line-up after personal leave saw him miss the Panthers’ double header at the weekend, while the club hopes Christian Hausinger will return for the games against Stars.

The teams meet in Tayside on Boxing Day with the return game at Fife Ice Arena on Tuesday, December 27 before the schedule takes them back across the Irish Sea to face Belfast on Thursday 29th with a return match in Kirkcaldy on Hogmanay.

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Scandinavian forward Lucas Sandstrom remains sidelined with a lower body injury, but is progressing towards a return to the ice and could lace up against Dundee.

James Spence is slated to start skating again in January after being sidelined with a broken hand which had a second cast fitted last week.