Ice hockey: Fife Flyers' inconsistency frustrates coach Todd Dutiaume

By Craig AndersonFor BBC Sport Scotland
Ryan Dingle scored twice on Saturday and three overall in a mixed weekend for Fife Flyers
Ryan Dingle scored twice on Saturday and three overall in a mixed weekend for Fife Flyers

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume reckons fans saw the best and worst of his team this weekend.

After a 4-1 home win over Coventry Blaze on Saturday, the Kirkcaldy men threw away a similar scoreline at Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday to lose 6-4 at Murrayfield.

And Dutiaume reckons having three absences in defence has taken its toll.

"To say we've seen the best and the worst of us this weekend probably sums it up for me," he said.

"For five periods this weekend, we played like the hockey team we want to be.

"The third period (on Sunday) is one we're unlikely to forget in a while, but hopefully we learned something from it. We thought we could close it out with 20 minutes to go, but we didn't respond.

"Playing with a short bench in both games this weekend like we did, you can get away with, but over time, you'll pay the price either with other injuries or losses."

Fife ended a four-game losing run to take the league points from Coventry in a 4-1 win on Saturday to make Danny Stewart's return to Kirkcaldy a miserable one.

Stewart took over at Blaze after five years working as assistant to Dutiaume and arrived back in Scotland this weekend with a five-game winless streak, but their misery continued.

Russ Moyer had the Flyers in front, before being cancelled out by Ashley Tait within a minute later. Ryan Dingle then fired the home side ahead followed by his second not long after.

Sebastien Thinel made sure of the points with a strike six minutes into the third period as Flyers found that winning feeling again.

Sunday blues

It didn't last into Sunday though as Flyers threw away a 4-1 lead at Murrayfield against Edinburgh Capitals to lose 6-4 in their Challenge Cup contest.

Dingle and Matt Sisca put Fife ahead before Pavel Vorobyov pulled one back for the Caps. Chase Schaber and Sisca made it 4-1 as Flyers looked to have it in the bag in the second period.

However, Matt Tipoff and Mason Wilgosh showed there was still life in the Capitals as they started the fightback, with Tipoff's second levelling the game.

Ian Schultz then fired Michal Dobron's side ahead with under five minutes to go before Vorobyov added a sixth to make it two wins out of two over their Fife rivals this season so far.

Dundee's one win from three

Dundee Stars had one win to show for their three-game weekend, taking the points against Edinburgh on Saturday, with losses at Braehead Clan and Coventry bookending their efforts.

They went to Glasgow on Friday looking to pile more misery on a Clan team still struggling for form and claim a place in the Challenge Cup quarter finals.

However, the result didn't go their way as Ryan Finnerty's side won 3-1 to keep their hopes of a last eight spot alive.

Corey Cowick's opener was cancelled out by Stars captain Joey Sides, but victory was clinched through late finishes by Jeff Ulmer and Matt Keith.

Marc LeFebvre's men improved on Saturday when they got their last eight spot as they beat the Caps 4-1 on home ice.

Scott Brannon and Justin Faryna put them 2-0 up, before Wilgosh hauled Edinburgh back into the game, but two from Sides ensured the win and progression in the Challenge Cup.

But they couldn't keep that going in Coventry, who eventually snapped their losing run at Stars' expense with a 4-1 score.

Blaze's Brett Robinson's opener was cancelled out by Vinny Scarsella. However Matt Marquardt, Robin Bergman and Garrett Klotz were on target as Coventry took the league points from Dundee.

Braehead lose at Sheffield

The only other game involving a Scottish team was Braehead's visit to the league champions Sheffield Steelers on Saturday, with the Steelers taking the league points in a 5-3 win.

Cowick's goal for Braehead cancelled out Robert Dowd's opener, before Matthieu Roy, Ben O'Connor and Andreas Valdix put them 4-1 ahead.

Craig Peacock and Matt Beca gave Clan fans hopes of a comeback, but they were dashed as O'Connor scored his second to clinch it, with the teams meeting again in Glasgow this Friday.



Challenge Cup

Braehead Clan 3-1 Dundee Stars


Elite League

Fife Flyers 4-1 Coventry Blaze

Sheffield Steelers 5-3 Braehead Clan

Challenge Cup

Dundee Stars 4-1 Edinburgh Capitals


Elite League

Coventry Blaze 4-1 Dundee Stars

Challenge Cup

Edinburgh Capitals 6-4 Fife Flyers