Fife Flyers raise the roof with comeback win over Glasgow Clan

Fife Flyers put pressure on the Glasgow Clan net. Pic: Fife Flyers ImagesFife Flyers put pressure on the Glasgow Clan net. Pic: Fife Flyers Images
Fife Flyers put pressure on the Glasgow Clan net. Pic: Fife Flyers Images | other
Fife Flyers 6 Glasgow Clan 4

Fife Flyers answered some questions, and exorcised a few demons, with a thrilling victory over Glasgow Clan.

Not only was this the team's first win over their west coast rivals in four attempts, it was also a night where they came from behind, something of a rare occurrence this season.

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It was also a breakout night in front of goal, scoring six for the first time since mid-September, which they needed against a strong Clan side who came into the match as EIHL leaders.

The performance was by no means perfect, even Todd Dutiaume admitted afterwards his team was sloppy at times, but there was character and heart in abundance.

It was a result that did not look on the cards early on.

At 2-0 down inside 12 minutes, there was a sense of foreboding in the rink. Another home defeat would have left this team firmly on the road to nowhere.

But Flyers rallied superbly, led by the outstanding Gauthier-Cazzola-T.Crowder line, to turn a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 advantage in the space of three glorious minutes.

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It may have taken them until mid-November, but Flyers may just have found the right chemistry to light up the scoring charts.

Mike Cazzola's two big goals earned him man of the match but the inspiration behind this win was Danick Gauthier with three huge assists.

From the moment their third hit the back of the net, and the roof came off the rink, Fife rarely looked like losing and they went onto establish up a 5-3 lead.

Clan were never out of it, but never quite regained the momentum thanks to the hard work of those in gold, white and blue.

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They pulled it back to 5-4 and a grandstand finish was on the cards until they took a dumb double minor with four minutes left.

Flyers took advantage of the five-on-three powerplay as Scott Aarssen put the seal on a victory that eases some pressure.

The home side had the better of the early back-and-forth exchanges but it was Clan who struck first on 6.38 through Jordan Heywood, who found himself completely unmarked after taking some time to get back to his feet after a heavy hit behind the Fife net.

Still dazed, he did well to control a puck as he skated back across the red line, finishing well from a tight angle.

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The goal gave Clan a lift and they dominated for a spell, leading to a second goal on 12.11 as Flyers netminder Andrew Morrison left himself exposed at his near post and Nolan LaPorte fired past him.

A long night was on the cards, but a telling contribution from Gauthier on 15.14 almost single-handedly turned the tide.

He collected the puck deep in the neutral zone and set off towards the Clan zone at pace, leaving defenceman in his wake as he weaved this way and that.

Only a sprawling save from Patrick Killeen prevented a stunning solo goal but Tim Crowder was rewarded for following in with a tap-in rebound.

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It was the boost Fife needed and two minutes later parity was restored as Cazzola's shot from the left was missed by Killeen as it nestled in the far corner.

The turnaround was complete just 40 seconds later when Gauthier again drove the net hard to set up T.Crowder for a back post finish, and the rink erupted.

The blistering pace continued in period two and Clan hit back on the powerplay at 28.47 as Rasmus Bjerrum finished off a quick passing move.

But crucially, Fife regained the lead inside two minutes, Cazzola converting from a tight angle after more good work from T.Crowder and Gauthier.

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The momentum was with the home side and newly announced club captain James Livingston capitalised on a clever reverse pass from Carlo Finucci to fire a first-time shot past Killeen for 5-3 on 34.47.

Clan handed themselves a lifeline before the end of the period when a shot from Matt Pufahl took a deflection past Morrison to reduce the deficit to one, ensuring Flyers could not afford any lapses in the third.

The home side managed the game well, and a huge shift from Jordan Buesa around the 50-minute mark, chasing the puck around the Clan zone and throwing himself into several checks, produced a wall of noise from the stand which energised the team for the final push.

As the game entered the final five minutes Clan were applying pressure in the Fife zone but a suicidal double penalty cost them dearly as Matt Stanisz was called for slashing, and Mikael Lidhammer followed him to the sin bin after rather stupidly talking himself into a two minute misconduct penalty.

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Fife took advantage of the five-on-three opportunity on 55.51 as Aarssen's slapshot nestled behind Killeen, and although Clan removed their netminder for a late push, the home side battled hard to the final buzzer to ensure there would be no way back.

The importance of victories over Glasgow cannot be underestimated - the scenes of celebration at full-time and after the man of the match presentations are testament to that - and Fife will hope this result can reignite the rink, and their season.

The team take the long bus trip to Wales today for a match against Cardiff Devils.