Fife Flyers defeated defending EIHL champions Belfast Giants on Saturday evening in the first of their home double-header as the hosts looked to build momentum following last weekend’s hard-fought three-pointer.
Flyers delivered the very definition of a team performance, with goalie Adam Morrison very unfortunate not to secure back-to-back shut-outs after an imperious display which frustrated Giants throughout.
Fife boss Todd Dutiaume was thrilled with his sides efforts against one of the top sides in the league.
“I thought that was a strong, mature performance”.
“I said to Jeff [Hutchins, assistant coach] at the final buzzer, that’s the team we want to be, and its the team we should want to be” he added.
“They pushed back at times, but they’re a very successful organisation, they’re up at the top end of the table for a reason, but I thought we were confident” he reflected.
Dutes also felt that his defence were solid throughout, even under pressure.
“I thought our D was confident and comfortable, and they moved the puck well, especially in our own zone”.
The visitors immediately went on the front foot as expected but the hosts managed to weather the early storm whilst creating some scoring chances of their own.
Fife began to press Giants hard, and were duly rewarded by Tim Crowder’s slapshot that flew past Shane Owen to open the scoring on 14.18.
Flyers doubled their advantage on the powerplay as Carlo Finucci was first to react after a scramble in front of the Giants net fell kindly to him, and he swept home beyond Owen at 17.57.
The hosts then stunned the away side with a third goal as Mike Cazolla’s touch set up Danick Gauthier who made no mistake to fire home on 18.40 to give Fife a well-deserved commanding lead at the break.
Giants made a change of netminder as Owen made way for veteran stopper Stephen Murphy as Adam Keefe’s charges tried to claw their way back into the game, and they put Fife under pressure from the puck-drop, but Adam Morrison was equal to everything that came his way.
Fife couldn’t capitalise on a 5-on-3 opportunity after the Giants bench took a needless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the home side lit the lamp for the fourth time on their next powerplay, as Kyle Just smashed high over Murphy’s shoulder into the roof of the net on 37.25.
Giants began the third period with just under a minute remaining on the powerplay, and they finally got onto the scoresheet after Ben Lake stabbed home at the near post at 40.54 to reduce the deficit to three.
The home side restored their four-goal lead through Finucci’s neat finish after a sweeping move involving Cazzola and Tim Crowder on 49.10 which rounded off the scoring.
This was a fantastic team effort from Flyers who were ruthless throughout the entire game and they fully deserved the two points from this encounter.
Fife entertain old foes Guildford Flames in their second home game of the weekend tonight (Sunday), face-off 5.30pm.