Haggis, neeps & tatties for coach, two precious play-off points for Fife Flyers

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Tom Coolen headed home with the ingredients for the complete Scottish meal of haggis, neeps and tatties last night - his reward for a fine 5-2 win over Coventry Blaze which kept Fife Flyers’ play-off push going.

He’ll probably not get a chance to make and sample the food until after the midweek road trip to Nottingham, and then give his verdict for the club’s social media platforms, but it was a welcome boost to wrap a good night at the rink.

Ninth placed Flyers now trail Dundee Stars by just one point - their Tayside rivals have two games in hand - and their weekend win also dragged Danny Stewart’s Blaze deeper into the race with the gap now just three points.

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Coolen admitted there were flaws in his team’s performance - defensively it needed to tighten things up - but he said: “We new how important this game was. It was our only one this weekend. We had lots of energy, and our powerplay was good - when it scores goals it helps your team so much.

Flyers fans celebrate rinkside after a  5-2 win over Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)Flyers fans celebrate rinkside after a  5-2 win over Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)
Flyers fans celebrate rinkside after a 5-2 win over Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)

“I thought we started a little slowly - Blaze forechecked us hard, but we found a way to counter that and found a way to win. It was not a perfect game - we didn't handle the puck well in back end, we kinda beat it to death, and need to to move it better - but we got it done, we scored when we had to, and our special teams did their job which was really important.”

Flyers dropped the opening goal to Blaze to Ian McNulty at 6:37, but were level within five minutes, Kyle Osterberg’s breakaway kick-started leads of 2-1, 3-1 and 4-2 as they stayed one step ahead of their opponents.

Max Humitz finished off a neat move to net the first of Flyers’ three powerplay goals on the half hour mark, and they broke the game open seven minutes later, taking just four seconds to net on the powerplay. Kim Tallberg had barely reached the sin bin chair when Humitz hit the net for 3-1.

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A thunderbolt of a slapshot from Brady Norrish grabbed a lifeline for Blaze three minutes into the third period, but it was game of limited chances at either end of the ice pad, and the comeback hopes lasted little more than two minutes thanks to a peach of a reverse pass from Troy Lajeunesse deep in Fife’s zone which sent Osterberg racing clear to deliver a clinical finish.

Sean Giles with a hit on a Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)Sean Giles with a hit on a Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)
Sean Giles with a hit on a Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)

As the game eased into the final five minutes, Flyers sealed the deal with a fifth counter; Teemu Pulkinnen getting a touch on a shot from Kevin Wehrs after the defenceman had taken a step to his right to create the opening from the blue line.