Fife Flyers’ play-off hopes and season ended with shut out to Guildford Flames

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Fife Flyers hopes of grabbing the last play-off berth were wiped out with a painful 5-0 defeat at the hands of Guildford Flames tonight to bring the curtain down on their season.

The glimmer of hope of qualification raised by a 4-0 shut out of Dundee Stars on Saturday, was shattered by the cold reality of another shut out – the 11th game the club has failed to find the net this season.

The defeat at the Spectrum Arena consigned Flyers to ninth spot in the EIHL, one better than two successive tenth placed finishes and wooden spoons, but a far, far cry from the standards expected by the fans. The inquests have already begun ...

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Flames returned to home ice after losing the league crown to Belfast Giants on Saturday, but any hopes they might be on a downer proved false as they crushed Flyers, building a lead from early in the game.

Dillon Lawrence in action at Guildford (Pic: John Uwins)Dillon Lawrence in action at Guildford (Pic: John Uwins)
Dillon Lawrence in action at Guildford (Pic: John Uwins)

Ryan Tait gave them an eighth minute lead with a short-handed counter - Fife conceding once again while skating with the extra man thanks to yet another poor, poor piece of decision making, this time a pass straight to the Flames forward with the zone wide open – - and it was 2-0 through Ian McNulty after 11 minutes.

It was the worst possible start Fife could have made after a long bus trip, and it only got worse as Tristan Frei nudged Flames 3-0 ahead just over two minutes into the second period.

The Guildford side were awarded a penalty shot in the 27th minute but Tait couldn’t convert, and they then saw a goal washed out just 14 seconds into the third period.

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McNulty went unassisted for goal number four after 49 minutes, and Peter Crinella completed the rout with nine minutes left on the clock, with netminder Taz Burman enjoying the shut out.

It was a desperately poor way for Flyers to end a season which failed to ignite, delivered too little offensive firepower and never lived up to the early season

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, could only reflect on a performance and result that summed up the season.

"The win last night gave us an opportunity, We needed everyone to be engaged. Was everybody and fully committed? Probably not – it has been long season for them.

"I do’;t know if Guildford came out all guns blazing – both teams seemed to be dipping their toes in the water, but we served up that early pizza and it was an uphill battle from there.”

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