Fife Flyers flatline in 3-0 defeat at hands of Belfast Giants
Fife Flyers encountered Belfast Giants for a fifth time this season - and suffered a fifth defeat.
The Irish side made the journey to Kirkcaldy for the first league meeting and skated to a comfortable 3-0 win.
It was a night Flyers will want to put behind them as quickly as possible.
Even allowing for some frustrations at a pocketful of soft calls from the refs, this was a poor, performance.
Where Giants were decisive and determined, Fife laboured on the backfoot, and never looked like clawing back the deficit at any point.
They flatlined on a night they needed to grit their teeth and skate their way back into contention.
Two goals inside 90 seconds midway through the opening period gave Belfast a cushion which remained untouched for the rest of the night.
Icing without Chase Schaber once again - it’s worryingly close to two months since he signed and there remains no insight to his unexplained prolonged absence - Flyers found themselves under pressure from the start.
The best chances fell to Giants as they moved the puck with purpose.
The only surprise over Jordan Boucher’s opening goal at 13:04 was that it took the Irish side that long to ring the red light.
Having made the breakthrough, they added a second within 90 seconds through Slatter Doggett.
Sandwiched in between, a gilt edged chance for Flyers as Jacob Benson went one on one with netminder Tyler Beskorowany and couldn’t convert.
The goalie then denied Michael McNicholas at the back post, and then, on the half hour Kristian Blumenschein couldn’t get the puck to drop after a fine pass from Carson Stadnyk off the boards.
Flyers needed one of them to drop to change this game, and when frustration at the refs crept into their game, things stalled.
When Scott Conway netted a 31st minute powerplay for Giants, it was, in all honesty, game over.
Flyers were poor in period two, and the final stanza saw the game just beyond them as Giants played it out to take the points across the Irish Sea.
They need to regroup for the visit of Nottingham on Sunday.