Old guard return as Kirkcaldy Kestrels fight back to earn draw with Dundee Comets

Sean Cochrane, Kirkcaldy Kestrels man of the match.
Sean Cochrane, Kirkcaldy Kestrels man of the match.

Kirkcaldy Kestrels 4 Dundee Comets 4

Kirkcaldy Kestrels twice came from behind on Saturday to draw 4-4 with the Dundee Comets in an entertaining game at Fife Ice Arena.

Kestrels came into the game boosted by the news that Chad Reekie and Steven Lynch had both agreed to lace up with the team this season, and both made their first appearances of the season against a strong Comets side.

BNL veteran Lynch, 43, who spent nearly a decade at Edinburgh Capitals, steps out of retirement having last iced for Fife Flyers in the Northern League in 2010-11, while Reekie, 33, returns to the SNL having last featured for Kestrels in season 2014-15.

A lively first period with chances for both sides ended in favour of the Comets as Lewis McIntosh struck late in the period to give the away side the advantage.

Having seen off a Comets powerplay at the start of the second, no sooner had the penalty expired when former Kestrel Aaron Robertson struck high above Davey Jackson to double their lead.

Kestrels though refused to lie down and found a way back into the game as Grant Jamieson found Ryan Todd in plenty of space, and he wasted no time in sliding the puck under netminder Dale Shearer to half the deficit.

Kestrels found an unlikely equaliser while short-handed to bring the game level as Sean Cochrane raced clear to find the net.

The home side though were still on the penalty kill, and they were behind again with Adam McNicoll scrambling the puck home.

More penalties followed and with just eight seconds left in period two, John Dolan scored to again send the Comets two goals clear.

Refusing to accept their fate, Kestrels had the better of the opening exchanges in the third period before Scott Jamieson found a way to goal and once again Kestrels were only one behind.

Chances fell for both sides with Dale Shearer in the Comets and Davey Jackson in Kestrels nets being called upon to make saves.

The breakthrough for the Kestrels was coming though, and with less than five minutes to go, Chris Wands unleashed a shot from the blueline which hit the net via the post.

The final few minutes were both frantic and fiesty - Robbie Summers and Comets' David Pokorny dropping the gloves after an altercation in the Comets crease.

Sean Cochrane had a golden opportunity to win the game with 25 seconds left, through on goal his effort went agonisingly wide and off the backboards.

A draw though was probably a fair result in a game that certainly entertained a healthy crowd at Fife Ice Arena.

Graeme Allan admitted that although Kestrels had chances to win, a draw was a fantastic result for the Kirkcaldy side.

"I thought we were the better team 5 on 5, we showed great character to come back from two goals down on two occasions to a well drilled Comets team," he said.

"Discipline killed our momentum through penalties at crucial moments in the game and we paid the price on the PK.

"We have brought in lots of experience over the past few weeks but as a team we are a new group and will take time to gel on the ice.

"There is a good positive buzz in the changing room and we are confident we can give any team in the league a run for their money and hopefully challenge for silverware."

The Fife Arms Man of the Match awards went to Dale Shearer of the Dundee Comets and Sean Cochrane of the Kirkcaldy Kestrels.

Kestrels are now on the road for a Saturday night fixture against the Aberdeen Lynx.