Fife Flyers ready for Scottish rivalry weekend after Cardiff confidence boost

Fife Flyers forward James Livingston celebrates his goal in the 5-1 win over Cardiff last Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Fife Flyers forward James Livingston celebrates his goal in the 5-1 win over Cardiff last Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers take on their Scottish rivals in a big weekend of ice hockey as they look to build on an impressive showing against Cardiff Devils in their last outing.

Saturday’s 5-1 win over the defending EIHL play-off champions put an end to a run of three successive home defeats, with the performance providing a timely boost to both players and fans.

It means Flyers will travel to Glasgow Clan on Saturday with renewed confidence, before welcoming Dundee Stars to Fife Ice Arena for an earlier 5.30 p.m face-off on Sunday.

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said: “It’s a couple teams that we haven’t seen for over a month.

“Two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of early success this year, but both are dangerous animals in their own right and guys really need to be prepared.

“Teams tend to ramp up the intensity levels and the games just seem to have that little bit of extra edge for whatever reason.

“We’re always excited to coach and play in them, and it’s always a great crowd, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Dutiaume insisted that he was not surprised by the team’s display against Cardiff, regarding it as an overdue reward for their performances.

“I think that was a fantastic confidence boost for all the guys,” he said. “They finally got rewarded for their efforts.

“I’m not surprised by our offensive outburst, I’ve been saying for months that we have enough offence on the team it’s just we found ourselves struggling to produce.

“It’s not like we weren’t getting the opportunities. We just weren’t managing to put them away.

“So that was always going to come as long as the guys stuck with it and continued to believe in themselves. Now it’s just a matter of ensuring that we keep it going.”

Flyers won just two games from 10 last month, but Dutiaume is putting the past behind him and looking for a better November.

“I think it was important that we drew a line under October as a month,” he said.

“I was quite open and honest in my interviews and certainly the guys get a very similar message.

“Obviously we keep some things in the dressing room, as all teams do, but there was good hockey played throughout the month, we just didn’t necessarily see benefits for it.

“Much is made of a couple of not so great performances, but just like in football or any other sport, you’re judged on your wins and losses.

“At the end of the day doesn’t really matter how you’ve played - if you’ve lost, you’ve lost and that’s it.

“We wanted to put it behind us and it was a good way to start off a new month with a victory and hopefully we’ll be able to build some momentum off the back of that.”

Dutiaume still remains hopeful of adding healthy competition to his roster in the form of a spare import but admits the decision will ultimately lie with the board of directors.

“The owners don’t always agree with me in these situations,” he said. “I’m not saying that is the case here but I need to find viable options to present them with.

“Certainly, from a coaching perspective, we would see a number of benefits from that,

“It’s finding the right piece because when you talk about one guy here, are you talking about a left hand shot, a right hand shot, a forward, a defenceman?

“There’s a number of factors that come in. We have defencemen that are capable of playing forward. We don’t have a lot of forwards that are capable of moving down into a defensive position. Those kind of things have to be taken into account.

“You just don’t go out and get a guy for the sake of it. He has to be the right fit because we have a very tight group here and somebody, if it happens, needs to be able to fit seamlessly into this dressing room.”

Meanwhile, defenceman Sam Jones is awaiting results of an MRI scan to determine the extent of a knee injury suffered in last Wednesday’s defeat to Belfast Giants.

“We hope to know shortly and get a plan moving forward with his recovery,” Dutiaume added.