Two overtime sessions in the opening weekend of pre-season will have given Fife Flyers the work out they wanted, and needed as they shook the summer rust from their skates.
They emerged 4-3 overtime winners over Herlev Eagles on Saturday and were within 41 seconds of completing a double when Brett Thomson struck to tie the game.
No surprise he also got the winner one minute into overtime to complete his hat-trick to take his team’s MoM award and seal a 5-4 victory.
Carlo Finnuci had a hand in four of Flyers’ five goals to take the home MoM, but results were secondary to the overall performance,
Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said: “It was probably fitting that the weekend was tied.”
He admitted his side looked tired at the start on Sunday, playing back to back games just days after getting together.
“We struggled a bit with the pace early on, but we dug deep and got back into the hockey game.”
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The match also saw ice time for Finnish netminder, Toni Tammi, who is with the Kirkcaldy club on a try-out basis.
“It is good to have depth in support for netminders, and he did well. He came under heavy pressure tonight.”
The opening period proved goal-less – a few chances at both ends but little else to excite the crowd on a sunny Sunday more suited to barbecues and flip-flops than a night in an ice rink,.
Herlev got the go-ahead goal through Niklas Tikkinen after 25 minutes before Flyers drew level in the final minute of the second period, Bari McKenzie tipping in a shot from the point from James Isaacs.
Hopes of going in on level pegging lasted exactly 24 seconds as Victor Karlsson found the net for Eagles.
The game was level again after 44 minutes as Flyers struck on a five on three powerplay. Defenceman Sam Jones found good space on the left and let rip with a big shot which produced a rebound for Finucci to sweep home.
Back came Hervel with Thomson again on target – by now netminder Adam Morrison had given way to Finnish trialist Toni Tammi – before Jones tied it at 3-3.
Flyers finally for their noses ahead at 57:08 with a smart move which started when Mike Cazzola carried the puck out of his own zone, danced through two skaters and set up Finucci. His back hand shot was blocked, but the puck fell for James Livingston to net.
With the clock ticking, Herlev called a time out and then, with 1:12 remaining pulled their netminder for a six on five finish which produced the game tying goal, overtime, and the eventually winner – both coming from Thomson.