Four-point weekend for Fife Flyers as they deliver coach Tom Coolen perfect 70th birthday present
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The head coach spent most of Sunday firing orders from the bench as he played every shift as Flyers negotiated their way to a solid 4-3 win on home ice to move into sixth place in the league.
They were the better side in the opening period, but found Blaze a tough side to shake off in a game with lots of pressure but not that many chances. Collin Shirley took the MoM award for the home team for another hard grafting, influential performance which included the opening goal with just 1:09 on the clock as he was perfectly places to net the rebound off Teem Pulkkinen’s glorious steal off the back boards.
Kyle Osterberg and Troy Lajuenesse skated with real intent all night long, while Sean Giles and Jonas Emmerdahl laid the solid foundations in defence as Blaze pushed back without creating many significant opportunities.
It was a performance which underlined Coolen’s commitment to ice a hard working team every night. It was never more evident in the closing minutes as Blaze levelled through Alessio Luciani with 3:11 on the clock. That parity lasted a mere 16 seconds as Stephen Desrocher let rip with a fine shot from wide on the left, and Osterberg turned the rebound home.
While Blaze called a time out and pulled their netminder, Fife skated this one out to jump up to sixth in the standings, leaving Danny Stewart, Coventry coach to reflect on the consequence of some bad decisions by his players over both nights. He saw his side tie the game after five minutes through David Clements, but lost the opening period 2-1 after Ben Hawerchuk grabbed the puck and set up Lucas Chiodo who hit the net at 12:40.
The second period produced few clear cut chances at either end of the ice pad, but it produced a showreel goal to tie the game - Kobe Roth wowed the crowd with a ‘how did he do that’ near post finish after buzzing round the back of the net.
Flyers came back with intensity, and their go-ahead goal at 36:40 stood after review; Osterberg flying across the crease, and Johan Erikkson flicking the puck home. The third followed the same pattern as the second, with Osterberg’s goal a fitting winner to wrap a fine weekend.