Fife Flyers produce five-star display against Braehead in Challenge Cup

By Craig AndersonFor BBC Scotland
Ice hockey

Fife Flyers put on a five-star show as they stunned Braehead Clan to seal a highly impressiv 5-1 win against their Scottish rivals in the Challenge Cup.

Todd Dutiaume's men took the lead after nine seconds as Garrett Zemlak, a former Fife hero, couldn't contain the puck and Kris Hogg opened the scoring.

Hogg added a second, converting from Jason Pitton's assist on the powerplay. Suddenly Braehead were on the ropes and struggling badly.

This was a marker put down by the Flyers as they aimed to improve on last season's bottom-placed finish.

Casey Haines added his name to the scoresheet halfway through the first period, firing a shot past the helpless Zemlak to make it 3-0 for the home side.

But Bobby Chaumont swiped in Matt Haywood's assist to reduce the arrears and give the visitors some hope.

The second period saw a much improved Braehead performance as they looked more dangerous going forward, even if Bryan Pitton, the Flyers's keeper was keeping them at bay.

Flyers were awarded a penalty shot and Hogg stepped up hoping to claim a hat-trick, only to be denied by Zemlak.

It was a false dawn for Clan as Fife retained the three-goal lead in the final period when Haines bulleted home a shot on the powerplay.

Then former Dundee Star John Dolan struck late on as the Flyers ran away with a 5-1 advantage and fired a warning shot to the rest of the Elite League that they mean business.

Afterwards, Flyers assistant coach Danny Stewart expressed delight at the nature of his side's victory against the Conference favourites.

"That was a solid 60 minutes from everyone on the team, we started well and continued in that fashion right through to the end of the game," he said.

"Every single guy showed up tonight and that's what you need to have to win regularly. That was just a really good team performance."

Clan coach Jordan Krestanovich was left to rue a poor display from his side.

"Everything went wrong for us tonight," he said. "We took a ridiculous amount of penalties and nobody was working hard and losing early goals back to back is unacceptable.

"We can't give a goal up in the first shift and when you're playing from behind it's not fun. Fife are such an improved and we weren't ready at all. I can't take any positives."

Challenge Cup Group A

Fife Flyers 5-1 Braehead Clan

Dundee Stars 3-2 Edinburgh Capitals

Edinburgh Capitals 2-4 Fife Flyers

Elite Ice Hockey League

Cardiff Devils 3-4 Braehead Clan

Dundee Stars 3-2 Hull Stingrays

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