Fife Flyers' play-off opponents confirmed after defeat to Glasgow Clan in season finale

A face-off between Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan last night. Pic: Jillian McFarlane
A face-off between Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan last night. Pic: Jillian McFarlane

Fife Flyers will go head to head with Nottingham Panthers in the Elite League play-off quarter-finals this weekend.

The matches were confirmed as the regular season drew to a close on Sunday with Flyers going down 4-2 to rivals Glasgow Clan - 24 hours after beating the Braehead side 3-2 in the west.

Those results meant Fife finished sixth in the league, and landed a last eight showdown with third top Panthers, with the winners going on to the play-off finals weekend, also in Nottingham on April 13-14.

The teams meet in Kirkcaldy on Saturday with the return on the Lace City the following afternoon.

Flyers wrapped up the regular season with a gutsy performance from a short-benched side.

They took on Clan without several key imports - defencemen Scott Aarseen and Evan Stoflet were joined on the sidelines by Chase Schaber, whose season is over, and Paul Crowder.

And their problems were exacerbated when Brett Bulmer - one of their stand-out players and team leaders - was thrown out on a major call for kneeing in an incident which saw Clan forward, Brendan Connolly, helped off the ice.

His season is now over, and he could miss GB’s world championship campaign too.

The check came after 34 minutes of play, and Fife now wait to see if the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) decide to impose any supplementary discipline.

As it stands, Bulmer faces no automatic suspension, but the coaching staff spent some time after Sunday’s game studying footage of the hit from various angles.

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said: “ It is in the hands of DOPS. What Brett has going for him, he didn't change his angle, he didn't move his feet.

"It was unfortunate a player got hurt - you never want to see that."

One of the biggest crowds of the season packed Fife Ice Arena for Sunday’s derby, and they created a cracking atmosphere as both teams gave their all.

Flyers were playing their third game in three nights, but dug incredibly deep to go with a strong-looking Clan in a one-goal hockey game which was only broken up after Bulmer’s ejection.

Handed a five-minute powerplay, Clan netted twice to build a solid 3-0 lead with goals from Tyson Wilson and Guillaume Doucet.

Jordan Buesa served Bulmer’s sin bin time, jumped back on to the ice pad and dispatched a neat shot into Clan’s net to maker it 3-1 after 39 minutes.

It was the goal which gave Fife the shot of adrenalin the team needed, but they fell behind 33 seconds into the final period to a Rasmus Bjerrum shot.

Evan Bloodoff cut the gap to 4-2 after 44 minutes, and despite piling on the pressure, Fife couldn’t crack a solid looking Clan defensively unit, despite pulling netminder Shane Owen for an extra skater in the dying seconds.