Fife Flyers 3 EV Landshut 2 (OT)
There were encouraging signs for Fife Flyers in their win over German side EV Landshut at Fife Ice Arena last night.
The DEL2 side provided a more physical challenge to the one faced from more speedy and mobile Danish outfit Herlev Eagles, but the outcome was the same as a third straight preseason friendly went to overtime, where a goal from the impressive Sam Jones sealed the victory.
A solid defensive performance ensured Flyers kept the visitors off the scoreboard until the third period when they relinquished a two-goal lead, but with four key imports still to come in, there were encouraging signs for head coach Todd Dutiaume.
"Regardless of the result, I was pretty pleased with the work ethic," he said.
"We challenged them to be better all week, and we sharpened up a little systematically.
"The big message was starting the hockey game they way we want to compete for the entire season.
"I think it carried over for most of the game, although we faded slightly as it went on.
"If you're not used to playing at that pace in the summer it's very difficult to maintain especially being short of bodies.
"But I thought we did a good job tonight."
Flyers again gave regular shifts to all their Brits with back-up netminder Andrew Little also icing the first 10 minutes - and performing well - after import Andrew Morrison had an equipment issue which prevented him from starting.
Jordan Buesa made an impression on the first line - performances like this could and should mean regular ice time this season - with the likes of Chad Smith and Sam Jamieson also putting in a case for their own place in the line-up.
"This is a chance for all the young guys to show how hard they've worked over the summer and that they want to be out there on a regular basis," Dutiaume added.
"It's amazing what a couple of games under the belt does for a guys confidence, and they looked stronger this week.
"They are only going to learn by experience, and this is the forum they can do that as the consequences are a lot higher in the Elite League.
"They have to sharpen up around the edges but that's being hyper-critical.
"I'm proud of them and it's lovely to see local guys out there playing a regular shift."
Chase Schaber continued to impress on his return from injury - if anything he looks even sharper - and he provided the opening goal on 17.16 with a bullet slapshot on the powerplay after his initial attempt was blocked.
Flyers had been solid in the opening period, but they were hemmed at the start of period two, with Morrison and the defence doing well to keep Landshut at bay.
A fortunate bounce gave Flyers a goal against the run of play as a ricochet off the plexi deceived netminder Patrick Berger and presented Kyle Just with an open net, which he took advantage of.
The goal helped Flyers regain some initiative and Carlo Finucci rattled a post as the home side chased a third.
The Germans refused to lie down, however, and came storming back in the third period with a brace from American forward Robbie Czarnik completing the comeback.
The match became tousy towards the end, with Schaber involved in a few battles, and Flyers started overtime on the penalty kill.
But once back to even numbers, the space opened up for Jones to skate on a breakaway and produce a deadly finish for a D-man.
"We still have to inject four guys into this line-up which is exciting for the coaching staff," Dutiaume added.
"It looks like we have a hard-working group of guys getting close quite quickly.
"It's got the makings of a good season for Fife Flyers and I think people should come out."
The teams meet again at Fife Ice Arena tonight (face-off 6.15 p.m).