Fife Flyers’ dressing-room talk – ‘ I can’t repeat publicly what I said’
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It took a first period dressing-room chat to light a fire under the team, but once the momentum shifted, Flyers skated to a solid, convincing 6-3 victory to keep their Challenge Cup qualification bid firmly on track, and leave Stars rooted to the bottom of the group without a point to their name.
The turnaround was impressive. If the first period was laboured, clunky and out of sorts, the second and third saw Fife get back into the groove that has defined their performances this season. Johan Erikkson netted twice, while single counters from Teemu Pulkkinen, man of the match Kyle Osterberg, Troy Lajuenesse and Collin Shirley put this game well beyond their Tayside rivals.
Marc Lefbevre, head coach at Dundee, put in the briefest of post-game interviews, but still nailed his side’s defeat: “A fantastic first period but then we played selfish run and gun hockey. We thought it was going to be points night. I let them know how I felt.”
Plain talking was the theme of the night.
For Tom Coolen, Flyers’ head coach, there was a much happier ending - one sparked by that first interval chat behind closed doors in the dressing-room.
“What I said, I don’t think I can repeat publicly – I’d have to go to confession!” he said. “The bottom line was we didn’t start well. We were not ready to play and do what we had to do to compete. They were first on the puck and outbattled and out skated us, and I take a lot of guilt for that. It is not something I want to see from a team I am behind.”
Kyle Osterberg described that opening period as “terrible” adding: “Shane Owen kept us in the game when we were down 3-0.”
He said Coolen’s team talk was key: “He came in and gave a good speech - this wasn’t Flyers hockey or why were brought here. Everyone chipped in and discussed how we couldn‘t get down on ourselves. We have good character in the room and it showed in that second period.”The win cemented Flyers’ second place in the qualifying table, behind Belfast Giants who have a;ready made the knockout stages.