Two fights, a broken tooth and man of the match award for Nickerson
Two fights, a broken tooth and a man of the match award is all in a night’s work for Matt Nickerson.
All that was missing from the big defenceman’s all-action performance on Saturday was a goal as Fife Flyers gained quick revenge on Nottingham Panthers for last week’s 7-1 defeat with a 4-2 win.
“Oh yeah - that felt good,” said a battered, bruised, but beaming Nickerson.
“There’s nothing better than playing hard and taking a win against arguably the best team in the league.
“We owed them big time for the 7-1 game so it was nice to come back and give it to them like that.
“It was just down to hard work. When we work hard we can beat anybody.”
Nickerson lived up to his reputation as the team’s enforcer, dropping the gloves twice to go toe-to-toe with Panthers pair Lee Salters and Tuuka Makela.
“I’m there to answer the bell,” Nickerson said. “If they want to go they know where to come.
“I know the fans have been longing for someone to come in here and throw some punches and it’s good that they got to see me in a couple of fair fights at home.
“Salters is a tough kid and Makela jumped me one time in Finland so I thought I’d send him a message on the way out.
“I broke a tooth, but thankfully it’s already fake. I got a stick in the face years ago. I’ll have to go to the dentist now!”
After a tough start to his Flyers career that saw him miss more games than he played due to suspension, Nickerson is now proving that underneath the toughness there is actually a highly-skilled defenceman.
“I’m now getting my legs under me again,” he said. “It’s actually helped have less D because I’m getting more ice.
“I was speaking to some of the guys after the Nottingham game and we were surprised with how good we felt considering how much ice we’d had.
“We only had five D so I was a bit apprehensive to fight in general. If I’m sitting out we’re down to four D, and then if we take a penalty we’re down to three.
“It’s a tough call but sometimes it’s needed and you’ve got to stand up and take a stance. It worked out on Saturday.”