Fife Flyers target fifth straight home win as Cardiff Devils hit town
Fife Flyers have a one-game weekend and are aiming to make it five home wins in a row.
The club hosts Cardiff Devils in Sunday’s live televised game.
Unusually both teams will come at the game fresh from a Saturday night off - they are in Dundee on Friday, but have to kick their heels north of the border until heading to Fife Ice Arena.
Flyers’ head coach Todd Dutiaume is more than happy with the one-game weekend ahead of a busy December schedule.
The club has to factor in Challenge Cup quarter-final ties and already has midweek road trips confirmed for November 30 - a re-arranged game against Glasgow Clan - and Coventry on December 22.
The cup games have yet to be confirmed, but it looks as though Flyers could go head to head with either Belfast Giants, who topped their qualifying group, or Sheffield Steelers, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Before then, they face Devils for a third time with the series tied at one win apiece.
Flyers have chalked up four straight wins on home ice while waiting on October signing Chase Schaber to make his debut.
The Canadian forward will not figure this weekend.
In his absence, several players have emerged as team leaders, and Dutiaume is looking to that continue against Devils.
“They are gelling well,” he said. “When we decide as a team to skate and commit to 60 minutes, we are very dangerous.
“We haven’t been as strong on the road and that inconsistency is something we have addressed - it is something you are seeing among other clubs this season too.
“We beat Cardiff a few weeks ago when they came up here and, very uncharacteristically, conceded four points.”
The home wins have certainly changed the atmosphere rinkside after a difficult start to the campaign following an 18-month lay off during the pandemic.
And the coach is optimistic that the club’s search for players to bolster the roster is close to fruition.
The club is in the market for a new centreman and also keen to strengthen its depth, but has found players hard to come by.
And the fact it only has four of its six registrations left to play with after signing Schaber and using one to ice Ricard Grigors as cover in the opening games the number of changes permitted this season has been capped - it has to box clever.
“I need two or three players to get to where we want to be,” said Dutiaume.
“We are looking for key positions, not just guys to fill up for the short-term.
“I am more optimistic than I have been that things are progressing, and that is a much better feeling than having no players coming across your desk.
“We want the to have the best team possible, and things are looking promising.”