Fife Flyers’ head coach Todd Dutiaume has paid tribute to key goalscorer Evan Bloodoff for battling back from injury to play his part in the club’s astonishing qualification for the play-off finals.
The free-scoring powerhouse forward had been out of action for over one month, but strapped up to ice in the first leg against Manchester Storm.
Bloodoff had to retire before the final buzzer, and didn’t skate in the comeback victory on Sunday.
He will travel with the team to the finals weekend, but it is highly doubtful if he will be able to ice.
Dutiaume was fullsome in his praise for the player’s commitment to kit up in the first leg.
‘‘He gave everything to play for us, and to do so at a high level,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s an old-time hockey player – people probably have no idea what he went through to be part of that game.’’
‘‘To come back was incredible. It was a huge boost for the fans and players to have him back in the jersey and on the ice.
’’We may not have won that match, but the minutes he ate up on Saturday were invaluable to us the next night when we needed guys to jump in.’’
Dutiaume confirmed Bloodoff would travel with the squad to Nottingham and be part of the whole weekend, but rated his return as ‘‘highly doubtful.’’