Three festive wins out of four for Fife as Dundee and Edinburgh struggle
Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume was pleased to end 2016 with a run of victories - but found the start to 2017 somewhat frustrating.
The Flyers began the New Year on a bittersweet note, losing 4-1 at home to Braehead Clan after ending the previous year with three straight wins.
And Dutiaume was also pleased to land new signing Bryan Cameron, whose arrival was announced just prior to the game against Braehead.
"Winning the three wins leading up to New Year was a great way to end a five-game skid," Dutiaume said. "Bouncing back with three in a row really helped confidence.
"But it wasn't meant to be against Braehead and it's something of a seasonal issue for us and we'll have to address it. The game started out alright, but as it wore on, we clearly tired.
"Ever since losing Shayne Stockton through injury, we were severely lacking right-handed forwards and by bringing in Bryan Cameron, it certainly helps.
"It lets some of my left-handers play in their natural position as well so I'm pleased we were able to bring him in."
Flyers finished off 2016 in style as they followed up a Boxing Day win over Edinburgh Capitals with points in Dundee and Edinburgh on Saturday.
The game on Tayside on Wednesday saw the Flyers win 5-3 overall, but go four up without reply by the end of the first period as Matt Sisca, Ric Jackman, David Turon and Carlo Finucci all found the net.
Kevin Bruijsten pulled one back, but Turon restored the four-goal gap followed by Brett Switzer and Vinny Scarsella closing the gap to two as Fife took the points.
Dutiaume's side headed to Edinburgh on Saturday for their traditional end of year showdown and secured a 6-3 win to add to Edinburgh's woes.
Two from Finucci and one from Edinburgh's Ian Schultz saw the first period end with a narrow lead for the Flyers, but Ryan Dingle added an early third during the middle session.
Although Matt Tipoff got another back for the home team, Brendan Brooks and Justin Fox opened up a three-goal advantage, with Jacob Johnston and Dingle trading late goals for either team.
Flyers returned home for their first game of 2017 against Braehead Clan at Fife Ice Arena, but they were to lose to the Glasgow side for a sixth meeting in a row.
Mike Hammond's opener was cancelled out by Fox, but Braehead claimed the points through Matt Beca, Matt Keith and a late Scott Pitt empty net goal.
Braehead may have started 2017 well with that win in Fife but their end to 2016 optimised their indifferent season so far.
A run of four games in five days continued after Boxing Day's loss to Belfast Giants with a 7-2 victory over Edinburgh Capitals in Murrayfield.
Tipoff and Callum Boyd traded early goals, with Braehead surging ahead through Hammond, Pitt (two) and a penalty shot by Beca.
Michal Dobron pulled one back for Edinburgh before Matt Keith and Daniel Ahsberg rounded off an excellent win away from home.
Braehead returned home to take on out-of-sorts Dundee Stars and inflicted a 5-0 win over Marc LeFebvre's side in arguably their best performance of the season.
Ahsberg's second in two games, followed by strikes from Beca, two from Keith and a late one from Hammond made it a second straight win as Braehead's busy week continued.
By the end of it, they had run out of steam when they went to Belfast Giants for their final game of 2016, losing 5-3 to the title challengers in Northern Ireland.
Another from Ahsberg was cancelled out by David Rutherford and Colin Shields before Craig Peacock levelled for the visitors.
James Desmarais and Alex Foster opened up a two-goal lead and although Alex Leavitt pulled one back, Foster's second clinched the points in the end for the home side.
Dundee Stars' poor run of form extended into the New Year when they were beaten 4-1 by league leaders Cardiff Devils to make it 12 losses in their last 13 games.
Joey Martin, Gleason Fournier, Matthew Myers and Mark Louis had Cardiff four up by the end of the second, with Craig Moore pinching a consolation in the third.
That ended a run of five away games in six with a total mileage of just under 2,500, but it did little to help Dundee's fight to get out of the bottom two.
The final game of the week took Edinburgh Capitals to Nottingham Panthers on Monday, looking to arrest the slide of six losses and 44 goals conceded in that run.
But they were beaten 4-2, with Alex Nikiforuk's penalty shot and one from Jeff Brown giving the home side a two-goal lead after one period.
Ian Schultz scored for Edinburgh followed by Brad Moran adding Panthers' third and despite Pavel Vorobyev netting for the visitors, Chris Lawrence secured the points at the end for Nottingham.
Edinburgh Capitals 2-7 Braehead Clan
Dundee Stars 3-5 Fife Flyers
Braehead Clan 5-0 Dundee Stars
Belfast Giants 5-3 Braehead Clan
Edinburgh Capitals 3-6 Fife Flyers
Cardiff Devils 4-1 Dundee Stars
Nottingham Panthers 4-2 Edinburgh Capitals
Fife Flyers 1-4 Braehead Clan