Scottish ice hockey: Fife Flyers cool over title bid; Braehead Clan, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh

Evan Bloodoff celebrates his overtime winner for Fife against Braehead on Saturday
Evan Bloodoff celebrates his overtime winner for Fife against Braehead on Saturday

Fife Flyers forward Evan Bloodoff refuses to entertain talk of a title challenge despite his team moving into third place after double victories over Braehead Clan.

The Kirkcaldy side have won eight in a row and lost one in their last 13 as they mix it in the upper echelons of the Elite Ice Hockey League.

The Flyers are a point behind second-placed Belfast Giants and eight behind leaders Cardiff Devils, but have played four games less than the top two, and five less than Sheffield Steelers, who are fourth.

"Talk of a title challenge is always something to look forward to, but we're taking it one game at a time," said Bloodoff, who scored four in the two games against the Clan over the weekend.

"It's important we don't get too ahead of ourselves. We know we've got a few games in hand and we'll make sure we'll make the most of those when they come.

"We're rolling well as a team right now and the team is really gelling together. We're feeling good now as we look forward to Tuesday's Challenge Cup quarter-final at Belfast Giants.

"The wins are coming and we've got a lot of guys scoring and contributing. Having that depth is great and it gives us great confidence going forward."

The Fifers made it six successive competitive victories over their rivals from Glasgow with wins at home and away over the weekend.

On Saturday at a sold-out Fife Ice Arena, they needed overtime to clinch a 3-2 win and claim the first two points.

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Two wins for Dundee Stars & Fife Flyers

Clan took the lead through Mike Embach in the second period, but that was cancelled out as Carlo Finucci struck to level soon after.

Bloodoff hit his first of the weekend to put Fife in front as the Clan found themselves chasing the game.

Goalie Ryan Nie was pulled in the final stages, allowing an extra skater that saw Adam Brace score to take the game to overtime.

The visitors found themselves in penalty trouble, facing a five-on-three situation that Bloodoff capitalised on, scoring in overtime to clinch victory.

In Sunday's rematch at the Braehead Arena, Shayne Stockton and Danick Gauthier put Fife ahead in the second period, with Bloodoff adding an empty net goal that seemed to confirm the win.

However Brace pulled one back as Braehead went for broke, only for the in-form Bloodoff to nab his second of the night and complete the four-point weekend.

Another team celebrating maximum points was Dundee Stars, who followed up Tuesday's win over Braehead Clan with two victories over bottom side Edinburgh Capitals.

Saturday's 7-4 victory maintained the Stars' recent run of good home form, making it five straight in the league.

Dundee Stars in action against Edinburgh Capitals
Dundee Stars maintained their strong recent home form with victory over Edinburgh Capitals

Sergei Banashkov and Adam Harding traded goals, before Dylan Anderson fired the Caps in front.

Brian Hart and Marc-Olivier Mimar put the Stars 3-2 ahead, but Edinburgh hit back through Konstantin Teslyukevich and Banashkov's second to restore their lead.

The Stars kicked on in the third period as Gabriel Levesque, Malcolm Gould, Riley Stadel and Mimar, with his second, all struck to ensure victory for Omar Pacha's men.

The re-match in Edinburgh on Sunday again saw the Stars come out on top, but they needed penalty shots to make sure of the result.

They also snapped a 10-game losing run away from home to heap more misery on the Capitals, now without a win in 14 as they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Pacha's opener in the first period was cancelled out by Anderson for the Caps in the second. Both teams battled hard in the third, but couldn't find a way through.

With overtime failing to produce a winner, the contest needed penalty shots, where Stadel and Mimar converted theirs to ensure a second Stars win of the weekend.

WEEKEND RESULTS (all game league unless stated)

Saturday

Dundee Stars 7-4 Edinburgh Capitals

Fife Flyers 3-2 Braehead Clan (OT)

Sunday

Braehead Clan 1-4 Fife Flyers 4

Edinburgh Capitals 1-2 Dundee Stars 2 (PS)

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