Reber fit to return for in-form Flyers

Matt Reber will return for Fife Flyers this weekend. Pic: Richard Davies
Matt Reber will return for Fife Flyers this weekend. Pic: Richard Davies

Matt Reber is set to return from injury for what Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume expects to be the most challenging weekend of the season so far.

Reber (25) has been missing since an accidental collision with team mate Kyle Horne during a match against Sheffield Steelers on September 13 left the pair suffering from concussion.

“Having Matt back up to full fitness is a great boost,” Dutiaume said.

“The guys have been playing well and getting into a little bit of a groove, but we’ve been rolling with a short line-up and placing big demands on them.

“Bringing Matt’s skating speed back into the line-up takes a bit of heat off the guys and gives us two full lines of imports.”

Defenceman Horne (34) has also recovered from his concussion but will be used more sparingly as he fights back to full fitness.

Josh Scoon has deputised on the second line in Reber’s absence and Dutiaume praised his efforts.

“Scoony jumped in and has done a great job,” he said.

“He knows that it’s Matt Reber’s spot and, for the team to be succesful, we need Matt Reber on the ice.

“But he’s given us the confidence to put him on the ice and go out there and be a role player for us.

“I don’t think we’ll see him relegated to just sitting on the bench.”

Flyers have collected 11 points from the last 12 available and are in good form ahead of a three-game weekend. A trip to Braehead Ice Arena on Friday is followed by a long road trip to face Nottingham Panthers on Saturday, who then travel to Kirkcaldy on Sunday for a 6.30 p.m face-off.

The Braehead match doubles up as a league and challenge cup match and is a sell-out as Clan return to home ice for the first time in five weeks.

“This will be our most challenging weekend so far,” Dutaiume stressed.

“It’s Braehead’s first home game since the start of the season and they’ll want revenge for our 4-0 win last month so we’re expecting our most intense game to date.

“It’s a great building to play in. It can get loud but we won’t be intimidated.

“We normally take a good number of away fans through so I don’t think the crowd will be big factor for us.”

Flyers then take on a Panthers side who were stuffed 6-0 by Hamburg Freezers in Germany on Tuesday night in the Champions League.

“I wouldn’t look to much into that,” Dutiaume said. “By all accounts they were beaten by an exceptional team.

“They’ve had a busy schedule travelling all over Europe and the extra games have maybe taken a toll on some of their players.

“But I don’t expect us to face anything other than Nottingham at their best, which will be very difficult for us to handle.”