Hat-trick hero Paul Crowder admitted he was relieved to rediscover his scoring touch in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Cardiff Devils.
The 34-year-old had been struggling to recapture his form in his second year with Fife Flyers after finishing inside the top 10 points-per-game forwards in the Elite League last season.
Prior to Saturday, just two goals and four assists in 12 league games were a below par return for a player who hit 56 points in 48 appearances last term.
But while form is temporary, class is permanent, and Crowder delivered a timely reminder of his ability with an outstanding scoring display against his former side.
“I needed that and maybe the team needed that,” he told the Press.
“It was frustrating the last few weeks not being able to score, but to be able to do it against these guys was a pretty big night for us.
“It’s always special whenever you get a hat-trick as they don’t come very often, so when they do, you treasure them.
“Hopefully it starts off November on a different page than last month.”
Crowder admitted that his recent low points return had been playing on his mind.
“It wasn’t the start I was looking for – the worst start I’ve had in a long, long time,” he said.
“Whenever I go to a team, I always feel like I need to be able to produce points wise, and if I’m not, I’m not doing everything that I can to be helping the team.
“So it was hard for me to not be helping the team, especially when we were in a rut there.
“I took it pretty hard on myself but tonight was a great night to hopefully change things around and get things going.
“Hopefully it’s a good sign of things to come.
“Everywhere I’ve been I’ve usually been able to put up some decent numbers.
“I knew I was capable of more and it was good feeling to get a few in the net tonight.”
Crowder was not alone in experiencing a form dip throughout October as Flyers managed just two wins from 11 games, but he hopes the win over Cardiff can spur the team onto better things.
“You get negative when things just aren’t working out, it’s just the nature of the game,” he said.
“But we knew that we had a group of guys that can play and score and compete at this level – we just had to prove it to ourselves.
“I think tonight we showed to ourselves that we’re capable of that, especially against Cardiff who are a top tier team in this league.
“It was a good feeling for us. If we can do it against them, we should be able to do it against any team so we just have to make sure we keep on going and keep the mood light.
“Guys don’t seem to be squeezing their sticks so hard now.”
Crowder is also enjoying sharing the same line as his brother Tim and Carlo Finucci, who set up both his goals.
“It’s always nice to play with family,” he added.
“I think we’ve been making good plays and getting good chances we just haven’t been scoring them. Tonight it seemed like things were starting to go in.”