Gauthier relishing big hits and big goals with Fife Flyers

Danick Gauthier is mobbed by team mates Scott Aarssen and Joe Basaraba after his OT winner in Coventry on Sunday. Pic: Scott Wiggins
Danick Gauthier is mobbed by team mates Scott Aarssen and Joe Basaraba after his OT winner in Coventry on Sunday. Pic: Scott Wiggins

Big hits and big goals.

That’s what Danick Gauthier can bring to the table when on top of his game and it is what the Fife Flyers forward delivered in Coventry on Sunday as he led Fife Flyers to a dramatic overtime victory.

The man they nickname The Goat has been tasked with a power forward role, bringing a high level of physicality as well as making a contribution on the scoreboard.

And it’s a dual role he relishes.

“I love to hit and I love to score,” he told the Press.

“I love making people fall over – it gets the crowd going and gets all the guys along the bench going.

“It can change the momentum.

“The coach always asks me to be physical because it opens the game up.

“If I hit a D-man maybe he will fumble the puck. I just try to do what they ask me.”

Gauthier admits he has had to change his game this season to suit the new team mates around him.

“My game this year, it’s a little bit different,” he said.

“We have different players and I have a different role.

“I have to bring the physicality way more than I had last year.

“Right now I’m happy with my game, but I wasn’t at the start. I got off to a slow start and I’m just trying to pick it up and see what happens.

“It’s getting better and better.”

With five goals from 16 games Gauthier is slightly behind his ratio from last season, where he averaged a goal every second game, but his stunning OT winner on Sunday shows he remains a confident finisher.

“I just took the puck and saw the opportunity,” he said.

“It was a pretty good shot right into the corner.

“I could do with a few more shots like that!

“I’m having a rough start with my points but I’m staying positive.

“If I just keep working hard the points will come.”

Flyers have made a strong start to the EIHL campaign and Gauthier is in no doubt that the team is capable of challenging for the major league and play-off honours.

“I don’t want to say we have a better team, because we had a really good team last year too, but we probably have a faster team this year, and on the big ice that helps a lot,” he said.

“This year, yes, I think we have the team to go really far, and to win it all.

“We want to finish first for sure, I certainly do. I will do everything, and the guys will do everything to win every game we have.”

Gauthier also reflected on a weekend that saw Fife pick up just two points from a possible six, with the win over Coventry following defeats to Belfast and Manchester.

“It was a tough weekend against three good teams,” he said. “I feel we should have got at least four points but that’s how it goes sometimes in hockey.

“We played really good on the Sunday, it was a tight game but we found a way to win.

“Coventry has a really good team and when they scored to tie up with four seconds left, it was good that the guys didn’t put their heads down.

“It was two big points and we need to keep winning to stay at the top.”

* Gauthier was speaking before Wednesday’s 5-4 overtime win in Cardiff.