Five things we learned this weekend: Feeding the goat

Fife's 'GOAT' has been well fed this weekend (PHOTO: Fife Flyers)

After another weekend of action across the country, here are the five biggest takeaways we have from what we’ve seen.

1.   If you feed the goat, he’ll score

Fife Flyers got off to the best possible start to their league campaign with two excellent wins, taking a 4-1 win at Coventry Blaze then following it up with a 4-2 success over Nottingham Panthers.

Tormentor in chief was Danick Gauthier, aka ‘The GOAT’ who scored four goals and was instrumental in the two victories and it shows what happens when you ‘feed the goat.’

Team-mate Bari McKenzie labelled him ‘one of the best players in the league’ in an interview on Sunday and if this is a taster of what’s to come from him, then fans can be rightly excited.

With six players all ‘feeding’ him with assists from his quartet of finishes, the forward will have an appetite for more.

Vicki Thomas’s tragic death showed how powerful the hockey family is this weekend (PHOTO: Sheffield Steelers)

2.   The hockey family bond as strong as ever

The hockey family did what it does best as they paid tribute to Vicki Thomas, the wife of former Sheffield Steelers player, Mark, who tragically died of breast cancer last week.

Messages of condolence and support flooded social media as a collective heart went out to Mark and the Thomas/Masterman families.

Steelers paid tribute to her on Saturday with warm-up jerseys that were raffled off and it showed the power that the supporters of this sport possess.

Storm, where Mark coaches in the development programme, also showed their love and support and it’s clear when you lose of your own, you always get the best of send offs.

Manchester Storm raised many eyebrows with their overtime win over Belfast Giants on Sunday (PHOTO: Mark Ferriss)

3.   Expect the unexpected

While many people will have Belfast and Cardiff as the top two this season, resuming their title joust from last season, there will be some twists along the way.

So imagine the surprise when Belfast, fresh from a 6-1 success over Glasgow Clan in the Challenge Cup, managed to lose a point in losing 2-1 at Manchester Storm on Sunday.

Take nothing away from Storm, they got the result after a hard-fought affair and it shows the other teams will not make it easy for the champions.

But we will see results like this dotted about throughout the season and it’s something we should all prepare ourselves for.

Devils picked up four points on their return to domestic action this week (PHOTO: Helen Brabon)

4. No Euro hangover for Devils

They’ve been over the course before so it was really no surprise that Cardiff Devils marked their return to domestic action with two good victories.

Early points in both the Challenge Cup and the league is always the best possible start and it’s shown they can adapt to CHL and EIHL hockey almost seamlessly now.

There will be challenges along the way and, yes, those two games both were at home, but it would have been the very least expected by Andrew Lord.

They have three games this week, with two Challenge Cup ties at Guildford and Coventry and another visit by Glasgow Clan to look forward so it’s a chance to build some momentum.

Leeds Chiefs played their first ever game on Sunday (PHOTO: Cerys Molloy)

5.  Leeds Chiefs make good early impression on NIHL National

After a summer of building the team and the excitement in Leeds, the Chiefs finally hit the ice against Sheffield Steeldogs in a keenly anticipated first game in the NIHL National.

Sam Zajac’s men made a good account of themselves in a tough venue and although they lost the game 3-1 in the end, the signs are good for them.

A healthy crowd followed them to Ice Sheffield and made a lot of noise to help and encourage British ice hockey’s newest club.

If they can compete in this run of away games taking them up to the opening of their new rink, expected to be in November, they could be a team no-one will want to face.

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