Fife Flyers: One point from ‘season defining’ weekend leaves team rooted in last place in EIHL

It was billed as a season defining weekend – back to back games on home ice against the teams directly above them in the standings.

Monday, 28th February 2022, 7:40 am

It yielded just one solitary point - and that’s why there is a horribly familiar feel to the outcome ahead of Fife Flyers. Tenth and last place in the Elite League beckons – barring the revival to end all revivals – for a second successive season.

Once again, when it really mattered, this team came up painfully short.

Saturday’s 5-4 overtime defeat to Glasgow Clan was the positive - and doesn’t that say it all when the goal was nothing less than four points over two nights?

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Kristian Blumenschein was one of the few Fife Flyers skaters to earn pass marks in the defeat against Dundee Stars (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Dundee Stars was just poor hockey; the sort that taxes the patience of diehard fans, and simply confirms the belief among those who have given up their seats rinkside that they really aren’t missing anything of note.

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How sad for a club that has thrilled and captivated generations of fans.

Across the two home games, Fife played to 2800 fans.

James Isaacs caught between two Dundee Stars players (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

Glasgow Clan declared an attendance of 3100 on Sunday alone. Go figure.

On a night when Fife needed to be on top and in total control, they found themselves second best to a Dundee Stars which came to Kirkcaldy smarting from a 5-0 shut out out home to Guildford.

They very nearly did to Fife what Flames did to them as they skated to a comfortable and thoroughly deserved 4-1 win - one achieved with very little difficulty.

Stars took the opening period 2-0 and the second 1-0 as Fife took some 51 minutes to ring the red light on a night when their powerplay was woeful and their penalty kill just as poor - three of Stars’ goals, by contrast, came from their specialists team.

Seb Bengtsson fired them ahead in the seventh minute as the trailing man, skating on to a perfect pass and executing a fine shot past Shane Owen.

It was 2-0 after 13 minutes as a pass from the back boards found the impressive Charlie Combs whose shot left Fife in deep, deep trouble.

Flyers had some chances in period two, but it never felt like they were willing to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and shake Stars until their grip loosened.

With 37 minutes played, they went 3-0 down and, in all honesty, it was game over. Another great move and a clinical finish from Combs - hallmarks that were absent from much of Flyers’ play.

The third period just drifted along with few signs of a spark of from the Fife.

Kristian Blumenschein - one of the few skaters to earn pass marks on the night - made a late surge on the powerplay and, not for the first time, found himself with little help, but, this time he got the puck to the right where Matt Carter was able to shoot and break Adam Morrison’s shut out.

Five minutes later Greg Chase checked out of the game for a verbal volley at the refs which started on the ice, continued in the bin and then en route to the dressing-room via a sarcastic stick-tap across the ice. As penalties go, it was selfish.

By then this game was done and dusted.

The few jeers at the full time buzzer punctured the stale atmosphere as another hockey game drifted to an all too familiar conclusion.

Dundee Stars wanted it more was assistant coach Jeff Hutchins’ post-game summary.

That’s a damning indictment on the players who didn’t show up. Again.

The fans deserve better. Much better.

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