Play-off rivals gear up for round two

Andy Samuel (centre) celebrates scoring in Fife Flyers 4-1 win over Dundee Stars last Sunday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Andy Samuel (centre) celebrates scoring in Fife Flyers 4-1 win over Dundee Stars last Sunday. Pic: Steve Gunn

FIFE Flyers are preparing for a grudge match against Dundee Stars this Sunday after leap-frogging their play-off rivals on their own ice last weekend.

Flyers moved off the bottom of the Elite League table for the first time this season at the expense of the Taysiders following a 4-1 win at Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday.

Stars player-coach Brent Hughes has stoked the fire ahead of the return match by using his Twitter account to state that ‘any person with hockey knowledge would know we controlled 95 per cent of that game’.

Fife player-boss Todd Dutiaume hit back, insisting he would settle for a repeat on Sunday as the chase for a play-off place hots up.

“Perfect – let them think that,” was Dutiaume’s response. “We’re happy to slide in there as underdogs.

“We don’t ask for respect from anybody – all we want to do is play hockey and do good. They can have 99 per cent of match on Sunday, but if we get more goals than them, we’re going to win the hockey game.

“I’ll be quite happy with that.”

Both teams face difficult away games in England prior to Sunday’s showdown with Stars in Nottingham, and Flyers in Coventry, on Saturday.

Flyers last trip to the Sky Dome was a 9-0 loss back in September, but Dutiaume believes his team has turned the corner since then – a belief backed up by recent results.

He explained: “Coventry have had mixed results this year, so we go there with confidence and, if we play the way we have been, there’s no resaon why we shouldn’t be able to grab ourselves a couple of points before the big game in Dundee.

“They’ll be thinking it’s an absolute must-win for them, so it’s going to be a tough weekend for us, but we‘ve just came through three games in four nights, and three points out of a possible six is pretty decent.”

Willie Nicolson is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder and is unlikely to feature this weekend.