Fife Flyers ease to victory over struggling Sheffield Steelers

Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers - Carlo Finucci and Evan Bloodoff celebrate a goal in the 4-1 win (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers - Carlo Finucci and Evan Bloodoff celebrate a goal in the 4-1 win (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Fife Flyers skated to one of their most comfortable victories over Sheffield Steelers, turning a 1-0 deficit into a very solid 4-1 result

Joe Basaraba bagged a double as they shrugged off the absence of two forwards through injury with a performance that must have delighted the coaches.

Fife grafted all night long as they exposed the weaknesses in a Sheffield side that has endured a torrid start to the new ice hockey season.

This, to be blunt, was one of the poorest Steelers’ performances ever seen on Fife ice,

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The visitors may have taken the opening period 1-0, thanks to Josh Pitt powerplay at 13:29, but it came against the run of play – they constantly lost possession in their own zone, and had netminder Jackson Whistle to thank to keeping Fife at bay during those opening 20 minutes as he came up with some big saves.

Fife were powered by Dannick Gauthier who led the line all night long – he was deeply unlucky not to open their account with a shot which Whistle parried before defenceman Aaron Johnson swept the rebound away from an open goal.

Flyers got back on level terms at 26:24 with yet another quick turnaround allowing Paul Crowder to tee up Basaraba for his first strike.

Six minutes later they were ahead for the first time – Crowder the playmaker on the powerplay with a pass to Finucci who found Evan Bloodoff front of net to turn the puck past Whistle.

That second period saw Flyers outshoot Steelers 15-05 – an indication of how far the Yorkshire side fell out of things as their game fragmented.

They hung in until the 48th minute, but when Basaraba let rip with a thundering one-time shot from just inside the blue line, it was game over.

As the clock wound down to just two minutes to play they pulled Whistle, but the netminder had barely got to the bench before Finucci hit the empty net from long distance.

Todd Dutiaume, described the performance as “the most engaged” yet and hailed some of the hockey as the best his team have played this season.

His opposite number, stand-in player coach Mark Matheson, could only lament how his side got away from their game plan. A team that expects to challenge for every honour is now discovering how tough life is at the foot of the table ...