One win & three great performances from Flyers

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Two points from three games - it may not sound a big return for huge effort, but for Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume, this was a long weekend which was filled with positives.

A first EIHL victory in Nottingham was another big breakthrough for the club, and all three matches were one goal hockey games which could easily have yielded four or six points.

There was also the return from injury of Matt Reber and Kyle Horne, and three solid performances which augered well for the autumn campaign that lies ahead.

Sunday saw Fife go down 2-1 to the Nottingham side they defeated in a penalty shoot out at the NAtional Ice Arena just 24 hours earlier.

Factor in Friday’s big derby in Braehead in front of a 3500 capacity crowd, and you had one heck of a schedule.

‘‘Those were three high intensity games,’’ said Dutiaume after Sunday’s narrow defeat.

‘‘We were in every single hockey game, and one goal games can go either way - sometimes they just don’t fall for you.

‘‘But despite the results, I think this weekend showed that if this the performance level week in, week out then we have turned a corner. That was 180 minutes - 185 if you include OT in Nottingham - and it was great, great hockey

‘’We are capable of beating anyone, and capable of playing in any rink. The guys laid everything on the line.’’

Dutiaume was delighted with the breakthrough win in Nottingham - a place few teams savour success at.

‘‘It’s hard to win there,’’ he said. ‘‘It just doesn’t happen, but we have won there, taken two points in Belfast and one from Sheffield. That’s five huge points which, once the league gets on an even keel, could be invaluable to us.’’

Flyers were on course to complete a Nottingham double as the hard working Matt Reber netted his first goal since returning from concussion.

Panthers levelled through Chris Lawrence, and both sides had good spells of pressure and some great chances to break the game open.

Flyers’ netminder Kevin Regan was in outstanding form once again as he stoned Panthers’ forwards skating one on one of his goal, and plucked several pucks cleanly out of the air.

Flyers were starting to get some good momentum going in the second period when the game was delayed twice for repairs to the plexi glass.

The breaks seemed to impact on them, and they fell behind to a 51st minute powerplay goal from Greg Jacina which proved to be the winner.

Flyers pulled Regan in the last minute but could find no way through a Panthers side determined to hold out for the road win.

>> Read Matt Reber’s interview in this week’s Fife Free Press - he talks about his time out injured, and getting back on to the ice.