Fife Flyers: we’ll battle every night says Tom Coolen as play-off race heats up

Tom Coolen took the point from Fife Flyers’ overtime loss to Cardiff Devils and moved on to the next challenge - a road trip to Nottingham Panthers.
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The coach saw his side deliver another trademark, hard working performance which carved out a 3-0 lead and then a 4-3 advantage going into the final minutes only for the Welsh side to force it into overtime and a sudden death penalty shoot out.

“A game of inches” he said as he reflected on chances which went narrowly past, adding: “Coming off the disappointment of a road loss in Cardiff in midweek, we were here to win tonight. We didn’t defend the lead the way we wanted to - had we stayed five on five we might have won. How do I feel? Happy we got one point, wish we’d got two and very please we didn’t get zero.”

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Coolen has set his team the target of points every weekend as it drives for a play-off place in the tightest of races with Glasgow Clan, Manchester Storm and Panthers. Two one-goal losses to Cardiff - a team on a ten-game winning streak - underline how close they are, but they need to push games over the line to keep the pressure on their challengers.

Fife Flyers fans have warmed to Tom Coolen's team and its work ethic (Pic: Derek Young)Fife Flyers fans have warmed to Tom Coolen's team and its work ethic (Pic: Derek Young)
Fife Flyers fans have warmed to Tom Coolen's team and its work ethic (Pic: Derek Young)

“We didn’t roll over and die - we popped back, and they squeaked that fourth one in,” he said. “If you look at where our team is compared to where we were, we are playing .500 hockey since New Year and we are in every game,. Whether we win or lose, we are in it.

“We are taking on the top teams and we are playing with them so I am pretty proud of our guys - we may not win every night but we are in a battle every night, I cannot recall too many games here where our fans could say they have seen a yawner - or a match they say ‘boy that was a bad hockey game.’ Every game is a battle and I am proud of that fact. We are fighting for the play-offs.

Peter Russell, Cardiff Devils coach admitted it was another tough test against Fife.

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“Shane Owen was fantastic, especially in the first two period when we struggled to get past him,” he said. “We showed great character and have been doing that a lot lately., We kept pushing to get the win in regulation time, so we will take that all day long - there have been a lot of tough, close games here. “