Fife Flyers’ score huge road win to move into play-off spot in eighth place

Fife Flyers moved into the playoff places with a huge 3-1 win at Nottingham Panthers on Tuesday night.
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The team hit the road south knowing it had to keep the momentum going in the race to make the the post-season competition, and delivered another key victory to step up the pressure on their rivals.

In what was a scrappy a nervy game throughout, Panthers took the lead with just over three minutes played - Myles McGurty's shot from the point was tipped in front by Otto Nieminen at 3:03. The goal was sent for video review for a high stick and upheld.

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Crucially, Fife equalised just 37 seconds later as Colin Shirley found the on-rushing Kevin Wehrs alone in the slot to level the game. Later in the opening period, Troy Lajeunesse deflected a well-placed Kyle Osterberg pass to put Flyers ahead at 14:17. There were chances few and far between in period two, although the best arguably fell to Josh Tetlow who shot wide when left uncovered in the slot inside the final five minutes of the second.

Collin Shirley celebrates his goal against Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)Collin Shirley celebrates his goal against Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)
Collin Shirley celebrates his goal against Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)

Panthers spent long periods of the third period in Flyers' zone but often shot with netminder Shane Owen in full view of the puck. Nieminen whistled a shot wide from a tight angle. As Panthers looked to push in the final minutes, a Colin Shirley shot from the wing beat Rok Stojanovič from a tight angle and pu Flyers 3-1 ahead with 3:33 to play.

Tom Coolen, head coach, was delighted with the result.

He said: “This was a big couple of points and we needed them. The hour glass is starting to run a little quicker for us, so to come on the road and get the two points at a building that has not been easy for us has been a big plus.”He was also delighted to see the result push his side up into eighth spot, albeit with more games played than his rivals.

“It is a great boost,” he said. “We have wonderful, supportive fans and since the new year we have played well over .500 hockey and we have just got to keep plugging away. This was a big win to get into a play off position, but we have to stay there.”