Fife Flyers launch new season with superb road win over Glasgow Clan

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“Character building” was how Todd Dutiaume summed up Fife Flyers’ superb road win to get the new ice hockey season off to the best possible start.

To put the 6-5 win into context, they headed west to Braehead Arena to take on Glasgow Clan in their opening Challenge Cup tie with five players out of the roster.

And they trailed 3-1 after two periods of hockey.

Twenty minutes and five goals later, they’d skated to a 6-5 win that was worth much more than just the bragging rights.

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Defenceman Reece Harsch upends Glasgow Clan's Jordan Cownie (Pic Al Goold/ Reece Harsch upends Glasgow Clan's Jordan Cownie (Pic Al Goold/
Defenceman Reece Harsch upends Glasgow Clan's Jordan Cownie (Pic Al Goold/

Flyers were originally heading into the opening weekend minus just forward Chris Lawrence, who is tying up his summer coaching stint in Australia, but then had to juggle injuries and absences as Jonas Emmerdahl, Scott Jamieson, Mikael Johansson and Simon Fernholm were scratched.

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What the fans saw was a gutsy performance in which Flyers create more than enough chances even when under real, sustained pressure, and came back off the ropes with a gobsmacking 5-2 final period.

Shawn Cameron fired a sublime hat-trick, while his team-mates rattled the pipes more than once as they dug deep to keep pushing back at Clan.

Brayden Sherbinin in action for Fife Flyers (Al Goold)Brayden Sherbinin in action for Fife Flyers (Al Goold)
Brayden Sherbinin in action for Fife Flyers (Al Goold)

The first period ended all square at 1-1 with Flyers playing some good hockey.

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They got the opening goal at 2:44 as Zack Phillips - one of their stand-out players – linked beautifully with Janne Kivilahti to create the opening.

Phillips then struck metalwork on an early powerplay before Matthieu Roy had Clan level after 14 minutes.

Period two saw the hosts have plenty of puck time, and it didn’t look good when they bagged a quick double to blow this game wide open - Colton Waltz with a fine shot and then Roy unassisted inside 30 seconds.

Flyers needed a quick response at the start of the third, and it came with a superb move at 41:41 as Cameron reacted first to a puck fired on to the backboards by Reece Harsch and found the net.

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Less than five minutes later it was all square courtesy of Janne Kivilahti’s powerplay. Game on.

The momentum shift which followed was profound. In little more than three minutes they left Clan reeling with three goals

Christian Hausinger fired a powerplay goal for 4-3 at 46:49 before Clan handed Flyers a game-defining five on three powerplay.

Roy went for slashing which left James Spence with a stick in two pieces, and an increasingly frazzled Mitch Jones took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for hammering his stick off the plexi.

Flyers’ specialist team executed perfectly – twice.

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Cameron converted at the back post off a Janne Laakkonen pass at 48:44, and struck again just 40 seconds later.

Clan’s push back saw Gary Haden net twice as they pulled their netminder for an extra skater, but Fife held out for a big win. Clan look like they have some work to do.

“We looked dangerous all night,” said Dutiaume. “The chances came across the game.”

At full strength, the next game against Clan could well be a firecracker – the very sort to rekindle a great rivalry to ignite the new season.

> Mirror of Merit: 3pts Shawn Cameron; 2. Zack Phillips; 1.Kivilahti .

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