Fife Flyers: three games in five days as cup QF added to schedules

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Fife Flyers face a challenging spell of three games in five days - and one match could set them on the road to a cup semi-final place.

The club goes head to head with Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, with the first leg at Fife Ice Arena on Wednesday, December 6 - and ticket prices have been cut in a bid to generate a decent midweek crowd as Flyers look to build a win ahead of the return game in Surrey the following Wednesday.

Flyers were cup finalists last season, and opted to have home ice for the opening leg in a bid to kick-start their push for a place in the semis.

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Tom Coolen, head coach, said; “We would love to match what the team did last season - that would be fantastic. Getting to the final was a feather in their cap.”

Fife Flyers are bidding for a fourth win over Coventry Blaze this weekend (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)Fife Flyers are bidding for a fourth win over Coventry Blaze this weekend (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Fife Flyers are bidding for a fourth win over Coventry Blaze this weekend (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

But the cup tie won’t be fully on his radar until after this weekend’s league schedules which bring Coventry Blaze to Fife Arena on Saturday, and then take Flyers south to Guildford on Sunday.

He has a couple of players carrying knocks, but will give them every opportunity to recover before deciding on his roster for each game. Key forward Kyle Osterberg missed Sunday’s road trip to Cardiff after a hefty slide into the boards on Saturday.

“He is one of our leaders,” said Coolen, “and a big part of our team. We will see how he gets on this week, He’ll be back as soon as he can, but I do not want to rush anyone. A couple of guys are also banged up, but they will be in the line-up this weekend.”

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Coolen has used defenceman Reece Harsch and forward Casey Gilling as his healthy scratches on a number of game nights he rests individual players and cover for injuries. They may come into the reckoning this weekend as Flyers bid for a fourth straight win over Blaze this season.

The Midlanders and Flames both sit below Fife in the standings underlining the importance of emerging with a pocketful of points to stay firmly in a chasing pack in a league so tight there is little between first and eighth place. Flyers also have to start putting the puck in the net - the team is ninth for goals with an average of 2.64 per game, but Coolen is not too concerned and believes the chances being created will drop.

“I look at points rather than goals, and where we are in the standings,” he said. “If someone had said in July that by the end of November we’d have qualified for the cup quarter-finals, and sit seventh in the league four points off first place, and two off second, I’d have been happy.”

> Ticket prices for Wednesday’s cup tie have been cut from £22 to £16 for adults, concessions from £16 to £11, and children down to just £8.

> Fife Flyers Supporters Club hosts its foodbank appeal on Saturday. Fans are urged to bring donations.

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