Fife Flyers' season lifts off with amazing double win
Fife Flyers haven't had the best of seasons so far, but their amazing double road win in Sheffield then Cardiff showed they are finally ready for this season.
A tight 3-2 win over Sheffield's Steelers was followed up by a penalty-shots victory over Cardiff Devils as Todd Dutiaume's men made it three victories in a row.
And the club's associate coach, Danny Stewart, revealed the secret behind the Flyers' success this weekend.
"Scoring a couple of goals took the pressure off us for the rest of the game in Sheffield, but all in all, the guys kept it simple and put in great effort," he said.
"Then, in Cardiff, we showed some character in particular after coming back from two goals down to go 3-2 ahead and, after losing the late goal, we could have crumbled.
"We went through a stretch of games where we couldn't score, but hopefully we've came through it now and we can go on to score a few more and rack up some wins."
Winning 3-2 in Sheffield was arguably the shock of the weekend, as Jordan Fulton and Bobby Chaumont scored to put the Flyers 2-0 up in the first period.
Robert Dowd pulled one back early in the second for the Steelers, but Chaumont found the net again to clinch the win, despite Jonathan Phillips giving Steelers late hope.
In Cardiff, the Flyers were behind to goals from Andrew Conboy and Mark Richardson in the first period before Matt Reber, Stewart and Derek Roehl turned the game around.
Richardson's equaliser late on sent the game beyond regulation 60 minutes, with Chaumont and Tim Hartung holding their nerve to score the decisive penalty shots for the win.
Meanwhile, it was a mixed bag of a weekend for Braehead Clan, who were down four players but managed to gain a win at Dundee Stars after losing at home to Belfast Giants.
Clan's Scott Aarssen had levelled Calvin Elfring's opener for the Giants in the first period of Saturday's game, but Evan Cheverie and Robby Sandrock put the visitors 3-1 ahead.
Joel Champagne pulled one back for the home team, but Neil Trimm had a penalty shot saved before Belfast pair Craig Peacock and Kevin Saurette clinched a comfortable 5-2 Giants win.
In Tayside 24 hours later, Clan came back to thump Dundee Stars 6-2 as Jeff Hutchins' side won their only game of the weekend.
Mike Wirll had to equalise twice for Dundee after Braehead went ahead firstly through Champagne then from Matt Towe.
However, Ryan Finnerty's side soon went surging ahead through Matt Haywood before Towe then Champagne added their second goals of the night with Daniel Nycholat rounding things off.
Dundee coach Hutchins admits he could have no complaints about how the game panned out for his team.
"We didn't come to play for 60 minutes and things, such as bounces, seemed to go Clan's way," he said. "I just hope this is a lesson for our guys after this.
"There were parts where they worked really hard, but I can't really sugar coat it. Braehead deserved their win to be honest."
There was further misery elsewhere for Edinburgh Capitals, losing both legs of their double header with Hull Stingrays.
Two from Peter Holecko and one from Michal Benadik weren't enough for Richard Hartmann's men as Hull won 4-3 in Edinburgh on Saturday night.
Jan Safar and Michal Dobron both found the scoresheet in Sunday's return, but doubles from Jason Silverthorn and Guillaume Doucet helped to seal a 5-2 Stingrays win in Hull.
It added further misery for the Capitals, who are now without a win in 11 matches.
Edinburgh Capitals 3-4 Hull Stingrays
Sheffield Steelers 2-3 Fife Flyers
Challenge Cup Group A
Braehead Clan 2-5 Belfast Giants
Cardiff Devils 3-4 (PS) Fife Flyers
Dundee Stars 2-6 Braehead Clan
Hull Stingrays 5-2 Edinburgh Capitals