Fife Flyers stay top of EIHL after win over Coventry Blaze

Fife Flyers celebrate one of Tim Crowder's goals in the opening goal. Pic: Jillian McFarlane
Fife Flyers celebrate one of Tim Crowder's goals in the opening goal. Pic: Jillian McFarlane

Fife Flyers 6 Coventry Blaze 3

Fife Flyers maintained their position at the summit of the EIHL after defeating Coventry Blaze to continue their impressive start to the regular season and claim their third successive win in their opening three fixtures.

Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume admitted some nerves during the game.

“I think our offense bailed us out, I felt we were quite loose at times tonight,” he said.

“Other points, we were fantastic, we didn’t look in a ton of trouble in the first period apart from spotting them a couple of powerplay goals, which was disappointing.

"They had a big push back in the second period and we found ourselves under some pressure, but we weathered it well."

The crowd inside the Fife Ice Arena were treated to a breathless first stanza as after absorbing some early Blaze pressure, the hosts opened the scoring when Tim Crowder slotted in at the back post at 7.46.

Coventry found themselves on level-terms after a shot from former-Dundee Star Charles Corcoran deceived Adam Morrison with a wicked deflection through traffic on 13.45.

A soft holding call on Chase Schaber lead to the visitors taking the lead at 14.59 with a thunderous slapshot from John Curran finding the roof of the net leaving Morrison helpless.

Flyers found a deserved equaliser when Crowder grabbed his second goal of the evening, poking home past Jamie Phillips at 15.56.

Fife regained the lead through Schaber after the skipper battled out in front of the Blaze crease to find the net on 17.34.

Three became 4 on 19.13 as Carlo Finucci scooped the puck over Phillips on the powerplay after Blaze forward Dillon Lawrence sat out a minor for slashing.

There was a change of netminder for the away side as Phillips was replaced by Jordan Hedley for the start of the second period as coach Danny Stewart tried to get his charges back into the contest, and they did just that through former Flyers favourite Evan Bloodoff’s breakaway effort on the half-way mark at 29.03.

What was a fairly lacklustre period for the home side was broken in style by Finucci, as he scored his second of the game with a sharp finish into the corner of the net after some great work from Jonas Emmerdahl and Paul Crowder on 37.44 to give the hosts a two-goal cushion heading into the final period.

Flyers began the third period on the powerplay but were unable to take advantage and that seemed to give Coventry a boost as the away side tried to claw their way back into the game, but once again failed to take their chances despite Fife’s hesitancy in their own zone.

Blaze pulled netminder Hedley as Stewart rolled the dice and as Dylan Quaile took a penalty for delay of the game, the visitors briefly had a 6-on-4 advantage but once again were denied by some dogged defending by the home team.

Flyers almost found a sixth goal when Danick Gauthier was played in at the back post, but he sent his effort wide of the target.

They were not to be denied a sixth goal, and it finally came when Kyle Just slotted into the empty Blaze net to add some gloss to a fine evenings work and put any nerves in the home support to rest.