Fife Flyers: ‘Lack of consistency’ as team fails against Coventry Blaze in pointless weekend

Fife Flyers’ slender hopes of grabbing a play-off place took a setback at the weekend as the team suffered back to back defeats.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 8:25 am

The Kirkcaldy team lost 7-2 to Belfast Giants on the road, and then went down 3-2 to Coventry Blaze - a game which saw the coaching team again pinpoint the lack of effort.

The club now finds itself nine points adrift from the safety of eighth spot - the final play-off place that is up for grabs.

They went into the weekend after taking seven from a possible eight points, and while Saturday’s trip to Belfast was always going to be tough - Fife haven’t won across the Irish Sea since September 2018 - fans were looking to Sunday’s visit of Blaze as a real opportunity to keep the numbers ticking over.

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Michael McNicholas at the face off (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

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But they conceded the opening period 1-0, Janne Kivilahti opening the scoring at 5:09.

It took Flyers until the 32nd minute to level through Michael McNicholas only to fall behind before the second buzzer to a when Ross Venus deflected Mitch Cook's pass .

A speculative Janne Laakkonen shot beat Owen high to put the Blaze 3-1 ahead with just over 15 minutes to go, but Kirkcaldy skater Scott Jamieson galvanised the 1016 crowd when he netted his first goal in a Fife top in the closing ten minutes.

Chris Lawrence in against Coventry Blaze *(Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Flyers had a late powerplay opportunity to try to tie the game, but despite pulling Owen they failed to generate any clear-cut chances.

Jeff Hutchins, assistant coach, spoke on the lack of effort and consistency in his post-game assessment.

“Consistency is the thing that has killed us all year long.” he said.

“Until the group understands we can’t take short cuts and play as near 60 mins as possible, we won’t have success.

“The lesson from last two games is we can’t take shifts off - we need everyone.

“If not we’ll be on the outside looking in.”

On the failure of the specialist team to deliver at a critical time, he added: “We had opportunities 5on3 on Saturday and didn’t execute. There is complacency on the guys’ part thinking they belong on the powerplay - it’s a privilege.

“Disappointed in the execution and disappointed for 40 of the 60 minutes.”

Flyers face a season-defining weekend with back to back home games on Saturday and Sunday - and must deliver full points to keep any hopes of progress alive.

On Saturday they host Glasgow Clan in Kirkcaldy for the first time this season, while Sunday brings Dundee Stars to town.

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