Fife Flyers suffer first league defeat of season at Guildford Flames

Guildford put pressure on the Fife net. Pic: Guildford Flames
Guildford put pressure on the Fife net. Pic: Guildford Flames

Guildford Flames 4 Fife Flyers 2

Fife Flyers' four-game winning streak came to an end at the Guildford Spectrum last night as Flames ran out 4-2 winners.

A closely fought contest went all the way to the final minute of the match with an empty net goal sealing the two points for the home side and preventing Fife from finding a third equaliser.

The defeat, however, wasn't enough to knock Flyers from their perch at the top of the Elite League standings.

The visitors were slow out the blocks after an eight-hour bus journey, and Flames opened the scoring at 8:15 with a Jamie Crooks blast, but a smart finish from Sam Jones on an odd-man rush levelled for Flyers with 15:57 played.

Flames ended the period on with a five-on-three powerplay, which carried into the second, and defenceman Calle Ackered struck during the two-man advantage to put Flames back into the lead 54 seconds after the restart.

The lead lasted nearly seven minutes until Chase Schaber scored for the fifth match running, coming in at the back post to draw Fife level for a second time at 28:47.

Guildford took the lead for the third time, however, when John Dunbar's patient pass allowed Kruise Reddick to fire home at 34:27.

Flyers hopes of recovering the match in the third period were hampered by minor penalty calls against them, and as the Kirkcaldy side gambled to try and earn themselves at least a point, removing netminder Andrew Morrison for an extra skater, John Dunbar found the empty net with 1:38 left to play to give the Flames a 4-2 win.

Fife head coach Todd Dutiaume said: "The early penalty trouble we ran into, and falling behind, it's very difficult on the road when you're chasing the game for the entire match.

"I thought the guys did well to continue to battle back in, but once they got that third one it was just too much of an ask.

"Both sides will probably feel they left a few things out there. I know that they certainly had a few opportunities around the net, and same with us.

"The teams are always very evenly matched and it looks like it's going to be that way this season again."