Netminder Adam Morrison was delighted to earn his first Fife Flyers shut-out in only his second competitive appearance for the club on Sunday.
The 28-year-old summer arrival from Edmonton, Canada stopped all 42 shots to help his side to a 2-0 away win over Dundee Stars in the Challenge Cup.
It was the perfect response following the defeat to Glasgow Clan in Saturday’s home opener, as well as a valuable confidence-builder for the goaltender as he looks to settle into his debut season in the Elite League.
“I felt as the weekend went on I got more comfortable in the net,” Morrison said.
“Saturday was a pretty special experience to be part of that rivalry and play in front of that atmosphere.
“I didn’t have the strongest game, I didn’t feel as comfortable in net as I would have liked, but the guys in front of me gave us a chance to win.
“Sunday was one of those games where you just try to stabilise the situation early on for the guys, especially on the road.
“That’s my job as a goaltender – to give the guys a chance to find their rhythm and get into a groove.
“Leclerc was doing the same thing down at the other end, and it felt like a tennis match with the two of us just hitting the ball back and forth to each other.
“It was great that the guys rallied around me and found another gear to get the win.
“That’s the beautiful thing about this sport, no one player is going to dictate the outcome of the game.
“You need the entire team to be pulling on the rope, and in that third period, I feel we answered the bell and played exactly how we had to play to beat Dundee.”
While the shut-out was welcome, Morrison admitted the team victory meant more.
“For me, the stats aren’t as important as getting wins – that’s why we all play the game,” he said. “We all felt like we deserved a better outcome on Saturday, and showed a lot of resilience on Sunday to right the ship and escape the weekend with a win and a loss, rather than 0-2 to start the season.”
Morrison took the decision to move to Fife over the summer after becoming frustrated with his situation in North America, with six call-ups to the AHL in seven years producing only two appearances.
Last season he was called up to Hershey Bears, but did not ice, meaning he featured in just 12 matches for South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL, earning a save percentage of .902.
“I had a lot of injury trouble and never seemed to get the ball rolling in terms of an opportunity to advance my career over there,” he said.
“Whenever I would get some momentum and garner interest from the AHL, either injuries would happen or the call ups came when they just needed a back up, and by the time you go back down your other partner is playing well, and that’s the end of it.
“I’ve always been confident in my ability and my work ethic – I’ve never doubted that I’m not good enough to play at the highest level in North America – it’s just one of those things that injuries and timing never seemed to come together.
“When Todd approached me in the summer, this seemed like a great opportunity continue playing hockey at a high level and also get an education.
“It was a no-brainer for me to sign here, and I’m excited to start a new chapter.”
Morrison, who will combine playing with studies at Abertay University, is particularly enthused by the prospect of playing a 60-game season.
“It’s a lot more comforting over here knowing that, being an import, Todd is going to play me,” he said.
“There’s only a certain number of imports and they can’t waste a spot on a back-up goalie.
“Knowing that the net is mine, and I have to help stabilise the game night in, night out, is great and means I can just continue to develop my own craft, and learn what it is to play 50 or 60 games straight.”