IT takes a lot to ruffle Kyle Horne’s feathers.
The Fife Flyers defenceman plays the game as hard as anyone.
But when it comes to the rough stuff, he is often the most laid back man on the ice.
During a tense third period on Sunday, Coventry Blaze’s Derek Campbell tried, and failed, to get under Kyle’s skin.
First there was a slash with his stick, then a bit of a wrestle, before an elbow finally knocked the Fifer’s helmet off his head.
With Campbell heading for a two-minute penalty, Kyle could have easily hit back and evened out the sin bin.
Instead he simply said a few words in his opponent’s ear, and then watched as Campbell lost the plot.
He fired the puck at the Flyers man in a fit of rage, before squaring up to the referee, getting himself ejected from the game in the process.
Kyle just shrugged his shoulders and got on with the game, while Coventry were left a man down as they tried to reverse a 3-2 scoreline.
Kyle admitted that there is “a bit of history” between him and Campbell, and that he deliberately tried to wind him up.
“Ever since my Edinburgh days he’s always tried to knock my helmet off for some reason,” he said.
“I say a few things to him as well that probably upsets him, but he’s easy to wind-up.
“I don’t personally like the guy and I don’t think he likes me that much, but it’s all on-ice banter and it’s part of the game.”
Kyle’s ability to keep the head proved crucial as Flyers went on to secure a 3-2 win.
He said: “In important games you don’t want to take yourself out so you try your hardest to stay laid back.
“The more you can look laid-back the more he gets upset about it.
“I’ve tried to be the big man a few times, but I’ve mostly ended up taking second prize.
“I’m pretty good at winding them up, but I know I’m not the best at the fisticuffs.
“I play the game as hard as I can, and as fair as I can.
“But when there’s a chance to wind someone up, I’ll take it. It certainly worked on Sunday.
“I don’t think he would have won the game for them, but having him off the ice was a bonus for us.”
Sunday’s win over Coventry completed a four-point weekend following Saturday’s victory over Hull.
“It was a brilliant weekend and really good start to the stretch we’ve got coming up,” Kyle said.
“The club is now back to what it used to be when I first came up to the Flyers. We’re now expecting to win all the time, and the boys believe they can win.”