Fife Flyers grab precious point against Nottingham Panthers to set up winner takes all weekend

Fife Flyers grabbed a vital point from this midweek game to set up a weekend which holds the key to their play-off hopes.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 10:56 pm

They tied Nottingham Panthers 3-3 after regulation time, but missed out on the second point when the visitors struck in sudden death overtime.

But the win cut the gap between tenth placed Fife and ninth spot Manchester Storm to just three points - and the teams go head to head twice this weekend.

Flyers’ play-off hopes rest on them securing all four points and then zoning in on eighth spot for a place in the post-season championships.

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Chris Lawrence in action for Fife Flyers against one of his former clubs, Nottingham Panthers I(Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

In many respects, Wednesday’s OT loss was a point dropped - something Jeff Hutchins acknowledged in his post-game media briefing.

“We were disappointed with one,” he said.

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“We played well enough offensively to get both, and generated lot of chances.”

Jonas Emmerdahl celebrates his goal for Fife Flyers against Nottingham Panthers (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Flyers worked hard across the match, and carved out a thoroughly deserved 3-1 lead before the halfway point.

They also kept Panthers to the outside, while soaking up plenty of pressure - all they needed was maybe one more chance to drop to kill off their visitors.

There were some solid performances across the bench with Jacob Benson grabbing a goal and an assist, and Craig Peacock putting in a fine shift.

Benson grabbed the opening goal after 14 minutes, but Panthers were level through a rocket of a shot from Jeremy Welsh.

But Flyers responded immediately, regaining their lead inside 30 seconds through Peacock.

The second period was barely four minutes old when Jonas Emmerdahl drilled home for a solid looking 3-1 lead, but the impressive Massimo Carozza kept Panthers’ hopes alive with the first of what turned out to be a straight hat-trick at 28:43.

That goal came on the counter attack after netminder Kevin Carr came up with a huge save to deny Peacock from a great set up by Carter - one of several big chances Fife couldn’t capitalise on.

A couple of huge opportunities fell their way in the third - a superb one-two with Brandon Magee and Michael McNicholas but the latter couldn’t convert was just one.

Carozza tied the game after 44 minutes and the deadlock remained until the final buzzer.

It took the same player less than 30 seconds to waltz through in overtime and slot home a low shot to clinch the win.

But the point bagged for the regulation time draw will carry them to Altrincham at the start of a weekend where it really is win or bust.

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