FIFE Flyers will wear a special jersey in their final home match of the season against Dundee Stars this Saturday in loving memory of Kelly Dutiaume.
Kirkcaldy girl Kelly, the wife of player-coach Todd and mother to the couple’s daughter, Olivia, aged three, tragically passed away recently along with her unborn twins.
The jerseys, gold in colour and displaying the message ‘forever in our thoughts’, will be auctioned with all proceeds going towards the Dutiaume Memorial Fund.
Club spokesman Allan Paul said: “We would like to thank Rhino Sports for donating the jerseys and also thanks go to everyone throughout the UK ice hockey community for their kindness and support at this difficult time.”
Assistant-coach Danny Stewart added: “These strips are for a fantastic cause, not only to pay tribute to Kelly and the twins, but also for a great servant to this club.
“Nobody can imagine what Todd is going through, but he’s been as brave as can be and he really appreciates all the support.”
The final weekend of Flyers’ debut Elite League season is a derby double-header, with the home match against Dundee on Saturday followed by a trip to Murrayfield Ice Rink to face Forth rivals Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday.
Both opponents are still hopeful of claiming the final play-off place up for grabs, and although Fife have nothing to play for except pride, Stewart is eager to finish a difficult season on a positive note.
“We’d really like to go out on a high,” he said.
“We’re playing our two biggest rivals and as professional hockey players we will prepare like any other game and give it our best shot.
“It’s going to be a big weekend for all manner of reasons, but we definitely want to come out of the games with two wins.”
Not helping Flyers’ cause is a lengthy injury list that includes Tim Maxwell, Dan Ceman, Toms Hartmanis, Willie Nicolson and Blair Daly, while Todd Dutiaume is on leave.
Stewart explained: “Blair has the best chance of making it, but the rest are unlikely to play.
“It would be naive to say it’s not going to affect us but these guys have faced adversity all year long.
“Sometimes we’ve managed to surprise people – including ourselves.
“There’s been nights where we’ve been short benched and I didn’t think we had a chance but we pulled something off.
“We’ll prepare as best we can, and the 12 or 13 guys that do play will have to play at the top of their game.
“If they do, hopefully we’ll manage a win.”
Netminder Garrett Zemlak is also keen to end his first season in UK hockey with a victory.
He added: “Guys are tired but it’s one more weekend and we’ve all got to just man up and play as hard as we can.
“It’s been a crazy year, but it would be great to celebrate the season with a win on the last weekend.”