Skinns sparks improved Flames showing

Guildford Flames’ Head Coach Paul Dixon says returning netminder Dean Skinns was the catalyst for two improved performances in the EPL last weekend.

After six seasons elsewhere, Skinns was back in Flames colours on Saturday and backstopped the team to an impressive 2-0 victory at Basingstoke Bison.

He was back between the pipes at home to Sheffield Steeldogs the following day and although the visitors snatched a 1-0 win Dixon was pleased with his goalie’s contribution.

“There’s an old saying in hockey that your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer,” said Dixon.

“Dean was certainly that in Basingstoke. There was a lot on the line with just a one goal lead and down two men late in the game, and the confidence he instilled was a big part of why were able to see the game out.

“We can’t have a shut-out every night, but it was certainly a great start for Dean and for our first look this at that particular line-up formation.

“We went with the same again on Sunday, and other than just not being able to score we can’t complain about the game.

“We got great goaltending again, and had many chances to secure a win. Scoring is a funny thing, and not entirely controllable or predictable, so we ended up with a bad result in a game that we unquestionably should have won.

“All we can do is try to be positive about the way we played, and look to repeat the performance with a bit more puck luck in the future.”

Dixon also confirmed the Flames have released Slovakian forward Jakub Kubis. The 26-year-old played just six games for the club without scoring a goal.

“We are much happier with our performance over our recent games, but we are still considering roster moves that might help us push that progress forward,” added Dixon.

“Jakub was with us on a trial basis, and we have made the decision to move on without him. We thank him for joining us for a short period, and we wish him all the best as he looks for a new playing home.”

(Image permission: John Uwins)

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