Fife Flyers might very well have put their season back on track with two big weekend wins.
The short-benched, injury hit team, which has slid down the standings to face the prospect of a real dog-fight for a play-off spot, delivered four points at the expense of two of their closest challengers.
Flyers beat Dundee Stars 4-3 on home ice before travelling to the Midlands where they chalked up an impressive 3-2 victory over Coventry Blaze.
Incredibly, that was their first four-point weekend since mid October when they beat Guildford Flames home and away on successive nights.
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Flyers’ win on the road was built around excellent play by their specialist teams.
They delivered two five on three powerplay goals, while their penalty kill performance was outstanding, snuffing out Blaze’s hopes of getting a grip on this game.
Brett Bulmer gave Flyers a first minute lead and Carlo Finucci struck with a powerplay before the first buzzer. In between, Dannick Gauthier and defenceman Ivan Puzic took five for fighting.
The middle period saw Coventry tie the game with goals from Thom Flodqvist and Dillon Lawrence, but their powerplay unit drew a blank every time they were handed an opportunity.
On another five on the play, a player lost his stick, and Evan Bloodoff exploited the moment to net the winning goal.
The result was a huge boost for Flyers who continue to ice without several key players, and the significance of the result wasn’t lost on Todd Dutiaume, head coach.
“This four-point weekend was a big step in the right direction,” he said.
“We had been hard on the guys all week and we knew we had to play better hockey.
“We have taken pride in our penalty kill all season, and it was nice to see our powerplay click again.
“Maybe things are coming alive at the right time.”
Flyers are back on home ice when they host title-chasing Belfast Giants on Wednesday night (7.30pm face-off).
The match is being televised live on Freesports, but the club has launched a two tickets for £10 offer for local students to try to generate a big midweek crowd.