Komet connection can inspire Fife to glory

Chris Auger. Fife Flyers v Aalborg Pirates. Pic: Steve Gunn
Chris Auger. Fife Flyers v Aalborg Pirates. Pic: Steve Gunn

Chris Auger hopes the Fort Wayne connection can help bring silverware to Fife Flyers this season.

Bobby Chaumont, Jamie Milam and Auger were all part of the Fort Wayne Komets side that won the Central Hockey League in 2011-12.

And 26-year-old centreman Auger hopes the championship-winning trio can help inspire Fife to similar success.

He told the Press: “When you get down into that crunch time at play-offs it’s good to have guys who have been there before.

“The Fort Wayne team had six or seven guys who’d previously won championships - Jamie has won a couple as a pro player.

“Winning is contagious and we’ve got to bring that same kind of attitude and work ethic to Fife.

“Hopefully myself, Bobby and Jamie can provide an example to guys who haven’t been there yet when it comes down to play-offs.”

Auger, who is also a former team mate of fellow new recruit Scott Fleming, recalls his championship win in Fort Wayne as a career highlight.

“Any time you win it’s special at this level,” he said. “Not too many people can say they’ve done it.

“That was one of the reasons I came here.

“When you check off the list of things you want, you want to go to a team which has a chance to win every year.

“The way the team finished last year they were just looking for a few pieces.

“We’re hoping that Scott, myself and Jamie can come into the team with a smooth transition and help them get over that hump.”

The weekend’s Bay Hotel Challenge Cup at Fife Ice Arena was something of a Fort Wayne reunion.

Aalborg Pirates forward Mike Vaskivuo was Auger’s line-mate in the CHL title-winning season while Jace Coyle is also an ex-Komet team mate of Auger’s.

“I’m still in touch with tonnes of guys on that team,” Auger added.

“You make friendships on a team and any time you win you develop an even stronger bond.”

Auger was speaking after Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the Danish tourists - his first appearance in Flyers colours.

“I knew coming in from the way they finished last year that Fife had a strong team,” he said.

“To get off to a good start and put up a win when we haven’t even been together a week is a really good feeling.

“I’ve been getting the flat all set-up and the guys here have been showing me the ropes around town.

“We’ve trained every day since last Tuesday and it’s been good to get the legs under me.”

Auger, who hails from Belleville in Ontario, is looking forward to his first season overseas.

“In the past I’d been teetering on the fence about it,” he said.

“After last season I felt I was at a point in my career and age where I wanted to go explore and this seemed like a great fit.

“When I talked to Fife it became a pretty easy option in the end, once I’d talked to my family.

“It was a great decision and I’m really happy.”

Auger revealed that he chose Fife over other options in Europe due to the club’s reputation in North America.

“They are a great organisation,” he said.

“You hear talk of other teams around Europe and that they don’t pay players and other nightmares like that.

“But Fife have a great reputation, and the fans are tremendous - it was just an exhibition match and that was something else.

“I knew one or two guys who’d played here and they made glowing recommendations so it just all fell together when I was choosing between teams.

“You have to find the leagues and organisations that are trustworthy.

“You want to go somewhere you think you’ll be most comfortable and everything will be set out for you.

“Here it seems like they do everything first class - the apartments are great, we have a nice vehicle, and they treat us well at the rink.

“We’ve got everything we need and that kind of stuff travels back home.”