No trophy but Fife Flyers get good pre-season workout

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The silverware on offer may well have been packed in the kit bags and shipped back to Denmark, but Fife Flyers still got what they wanted from this exhibition event - two good workouts.

The matches against a good, hard working Aalborg Pirates were competitive and played with pace.

There will be some tired legs come Monday morning, but Flyers will reap the benefits as they now knuckle down for the season opener against Coventry Blaze this coming weekend.

Saturday’s game was won 4-2, but Sunday’s was lost 8-3, giving the aggregate honours to Pirates, coached by former Blaze and GB coach Paul Thompson.

The second tie saw Matt Reber thrown out on a rare five plus game for tripping - there was no malice in the check, but the fact his opponent ended up with a cut face perhaps swayed the stripeys into the major call.

‘‘Matt could win ‘gentleman of the year’ in this league, quipped coach Todd Dutiaume who admitted his departure halfway through the game was a big loss, and one which disrupted the lines. Once again the speedy winger looked to be in the mood to go hunting for goals.

The coach was also happy to look at the positives from the loss which saw Flyers ship four early goals before calling a time out to steady the ship and spike the momentum of a lively and very smart Danish outfit.

‘‘It was a kick up the backside, he said, ‘‘and it worked because we got two short handed goals.

‘‘We tried some different things tonight, and it was a good workout for us. That’s what we wanted.

‘‘I know we are feeling a bit down because it’s the first time we’ve shipped eight goals in a while, but this will be a good learning curve for us, They will help us get into game shape.’’

Pirates came to Kirkcaldy with four games already under their belt and capitalised on some defensive mistakes as netminders Kevin Regan and then Blair Daly were hung out to dry at times, but the result was kept firmly in perspective in the post-game analysis.

>> Don’t miss Matthew Elder’s preview of the new hockey season only in this week’s Fife Free Press - out on Thursday.