Ice hockey: Two wins from three for Fife Flyers

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Watch: Flyers hit five past Braehead

Fife Flyers assistant coach Jeff Hutchins revealed the club have yet to appoint a captain this season - and they are happy with that.

The Kirkcaldy side picked up four points out of six in a three-game weekend that featured a trip to Manchester in the middle of home visits by Milton Keynes Lightning and Braehead Clan.

And Hutchins was pleased at how the weekend panned out, admitting they are eyeing up the Gardiner Conference title this season after another win over Clan, their third in a row.

"The one thing about this team is it's young and hard-working, with a sprinkling of skill and good leadership so I think it's been a good mix for us," he said.

"We haven't appointed a captain or alternate captains yet as we feel the team is managing itself in terms of leadership and we like where we are.

"It's a good marker for us about how Braehead have had a hold on the Gardiner Conference for a while and if we want to win it, we have to win these head-to-head games."

Flyers' weekend began with the visit of league new boys Milton Keynes Lightning, coached by Ayrshire native Pete Russell, the only Scottish coach in the 12-team set-up.

They fought hard, but Fife took the points in a slender 3-2 win as Charlie Mosey and Chase Schaber put Todd Dutiaume's side two up.

Lightning hit back through Kevin Gibson and Francis Verreault-Paul, but Ricards Birzins's shorthanded goal with 10 minutes to go sealed the first points of the weekend.

Flyers made the journey down to Manchester Storm, to take on the league leaders and despite making a decent fist of it, went down 3-2 in Altrincham.

Dane Byers and Ciaran Long put Storm two up, with Fife hitting back through Jim Jorgensen and Ian Young, but Mike Hammond killed them off to keep the points in Manchester.

Fife celebrate as Clan goalie Ryan Nie is beaten in their 5-2 home win on Sunday
Fife celebrate as Clan goalie Ryan Nie is beaten in their 5-2 home win on Sunday

Flyers returned to Kirkcaldy on Sunday with their old chums, Braehead Clan, waiting for them and out to stop a third straight defeat at the hands of their big rivals.

It didn't quite come off as Flyers won 5-2, their third win in three weeks over the Clan, with James Isaacs and Liam Heelis putting them two up in the first period.

Jacob Doty pulled one back for Clan, but two from Evan Bloodoff and another from Heelis made sure of the win, despite a late marker by Craig Cescon for the visitors.

For Braehead, it ended what had been a promising start to the weekend as they hosted Milton Keynes on Saturday, who themselves were looking to react from Friday's Fife loss.

Clan had the upper hand as Ryan Potulny and Tyler Shattock had them two up. Guillaume Doucet pulled one back for MK, but Brendan Brooks and Potulny's second made it 4-1.

Lightning fought their way back through Kyle Essery and Verrault-Paul, but John Tripp's side held out for their second win in seven games.

MK ended their Scottish odyssey in Edinburgh on Sunday and left Scotland with two points from their final game, winning 5-2 at Murrayfield.

Doucet was first on the board, with Mike Cazzola cancelling out, but Denny Kearney, Essery and Kevin King had Milton Keynes 4-1 ahead and looking good.

Dillon Lawrence got one back for the Caps, but the game - and the weekend - was rounded off by Verrault-Paul's third goal in three nights.

It compounded a miserable weekend for Edinburgh, who collapsed in the third period of their game at Nottingham Panthers on Saturday to go down 5-2.

Tim Billingsley's opener for Nottingham was levelled by Juris Upitis, with Cazzola doing the same for Alexander Mokshantsev's strike and both teams were 2-2 after two periods.

However Mokshantsev's second, followed by quick goals from Eric Lindhagen and Brett Perlini made sure the Caps weren't able to take an unlikely result in Nottingham.

The other games of the weekend saw Dundee Stars and Coventry Blaze take part in a double header, which saw honours even over the two games.

Saturday's contest at Coventry's Skydome saw Stars come from behind to win 3-2 in overtime, with Riley Stadel getting a hat-trick.

Garrett Ladd had a goal cancelled out by Stadel first, with Ross Venus restoring Blaze's lead early in the third.

Once again, Stadel equalised which took the game to the extra period and the Stars man stuck away the winner for a much-needed victory for Dundee.

However they could not repeat the feat at home on Sunday as Blaze won 2-1, with overtime needed again to separate the sides.

Strikes from Coventry's Brett Robinson and Gabriel Levesque kept things even Stevens until Adam Courchaine scored in the extra period to win the game for the visitors.

Weekend results

Friday

Elite League

Fife Flyers 3-2 Milton Keynes Lightning

Saturday

Elite League

Braehead Clan 4-3 Milton Keynes Lightning

Coventry Blaze 2-3 Dundee Stars (OT)

Manchester Storm 3-2 Fife Flyers

Sunday

Elite League

Dundee Stars 1-2 Coventry Blaze (OT)

Edinburgh Capitals 2-5 Milton Keynes Lightning

Fife Flyers 5-2 Braehead Clan

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