Elite League preview: Flyers crank up their preparations

Fife Flyers welcome German side EC Peiting to Kirkcaldy this weekend as preparations for the upcoming Elite League season gather pace.

Flyers could be without Kyle Follmer, Ric Jackman and Russ Moyer for the fixtures on Saturday and Sunday, but Head Coach Todd Dutiaume is keen to to see how the rest of his squad shapes up.

“This last week has been a rush of airport pick ups, settling the guys in and training but the guys have adjusted well and our returnees have made our new guys feel welcome,” said Dutiaume.

“Spirits are high, but I would like to have the entire squad here so I can begin getting these guys accustomed to our systems.

“This weekend is going to be a good opportunity for us to see how well the guys gel, try out a number of options and get back to game pace.

“Training has gone well so far this week and next week will be full on with two ice sessions per day on some days, to prepare for our Challenge Cup matches.

“This looks to be the strongest Elite League that we’ve experienced, and on paper we look to be the strongest side we’ve ever iced.

“One thing I can guarantee is that this will be a hard working bunch – combine that with the talent we have, I feel this will be a team that our fans will respond to very positively.”

Nottingham Panthers take on teams from France, Germany and Canada when they feature in the Napoleon Cup in Amiens this weekend.

Panthers were beaten 5-2 by Braehead Clan in the Aladdin Cup last weekend and followed up with a 6-5 defeat at Coventry Blaze on Wednesday.

Head Coach Corey Neilson is hoping for an improvement in Amiens.

“We’ve had a couple of decent games so far, but we want to try and get ourselves on the winning side,” said Neilson.

“We’re up against some good opposition and players this weekend. Obviously we’re still missing some bodies, but I like what I’ve seen and I think we’re going to have a really exciting team this season.”

Sheffield Steelers face Sweden’s HV71 in the Champions Hockey League on Saturday bidding to end their dismal record in the competition.

Steelers lost all four CHL games last season and have started this year’s competition with a pair of defeats against HV71 and Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg.

Their performance in the opening game in Sweden, where they pushed the hosts all the way before losing 5-3, has raised hopes they can end their CHL hoodoo on home ice.

Steelers’ skipper Jonathan Phillips said: “On Saturday we have an incredible opportunity to create history and become the first British side to beat an SHL team.

“We were ten minutes away on Thursday – put it into perspective, we’d been on the ice eight times before that game. Now we have another game and another week on the ice under our belt.

“We took Frolunda deep into the third period last year, why cant we go one better on Saturday with HV71?

“Let’s make the next step and show these teams that we are good as well.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Kassel Huskies (Germany) v Nottingham Panthers

Saturday

Amiens (France) v Nottingham Panthers
Belfast Giants v Braehead Clan
Cardiff Devils v Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands)
Fife Flyers v EC Peiting (Germany)
Sheffield Steelers v HV71 (Sweden)

Sunday

Braehead Clan v Belfast Giants
Coventry Blaze v Tilburg Trappers
Fife Flyers v EC Peiting (Germany)
UQTR (Canada) v Nottingham Panthers

Monday

Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*