Fife Flyers pay price for slow start in Belfast, but draw positives from 7-4 loss
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Flyers ended the round robin section with six points from six games and sit second behind Giants who have booked their place in the next stage.
Clan have three games in hand and could finish above Tom Coolen’s team, but that will mean sweeping all three games, including winning in Belfast.
Friday’s long trip across the Irish Sea saw Fife make a dreadful start, going down 4-0 in the first ten minutes, but they battled back to tie the second period and win the third, with a push back which forced Giants to up their game in the closing minutes.
“We spoke about the need to make a good start,” he said. “Our minds were saying yes, our legs were saying no, but we battled back. We showed a lot of character, and as a coach you look build on things like that. We won periods two and three 4-3, and that’s a plus we will take.”
Ara Nazarian, Matt McLeod, Sean Norris and Daniel Tedesco all found the back of Shane Owen's net side the opening 10 minutes to put the home side in a commanding position.
They were pegged back by Teemu Pulkkinen at 28:40, only for Ben Lake to restore the Giants' four-goal advantage with 5:30 left in period two.
Mark Cooper's powerplay goal with 50:39 on the board looked to have sealed a big win for the home side, but they hadn't counted on a late Flyers rally. Colin Shirley scored just 12 seconds later, followed by James Spence and Lucas Chiodo beating Jackson Whistle ten seconds apart. Kohei Sato finished into the empty net with six seconds remaining to add more gloss to the final scoreline.