MANCHESTER STORM 3 FIFE FLYERS 4
A late rally in the third period proved to be a stretch too far for the Manchester Storm against the Fife Flyers on Saturday as the Kirkcaldy side held out 4-3 in the battle of the struggler’s.
Altrincham ice rink turned Pink for the Christie charity getting on board with a special ‘Pink The Rink’ night and brought out a big crowd inside the venue for the Gardiner conference match up.
From the drop of the puck the short benched hosts dominated the early stages of the match and had the Flyers on the back foot for a long period at the start of the match. Manchester came into the match a Defenceman down after they released Igor Bobcek earlier in the week and had the whole side pulling together to make up for the loss.
Manchester came close on many occasions to breaking the deadlock and their best chance fell to American Luke Salazar, but his effort on goal was deflected high over the glass and into the netting by netminder David Brown in the Fife Flyers goals.
Fife was massively under the cosh for the opening ten minutes of the contest but with Manchester not making the most of their chances it saw the Flyers taking the lead again the run of play.
Danny Stewart celebrated making the most appearances by an Import player in the Elite League, with the forward netting in his 563th game to put the Flyers 1-0 up at 8.41 after a bounce off the boards behind the nets saw Stephen Gunn finding Stewart skating on goal to put home.
Fife then doubled their lead in the 15th minute on the powerplay, when Shayne Stockton passed back towards the point and his shot saw his stick breaking and come off Matt Paton’s stick and fortunately go in off Ryan Single at the front of the net.
With the score flattering the historic Scottish club in the first period, Storm then got a boost before a minute from the end as a lovely from flowing move between Matty Davies and Vinny Scarsella saw the latter make a pass to the post and Patrik Valcak tucked home for 2-1.
At 23.27 the visitors restored their two goal lead when Kyle Haines fired in a shot from a tight angle then came off both posts and saw the large travelling Fife support up on their feet.
The rest of the second period saw the Flyers looking comfortable and had
Storm just struggling to get good shots off on Brown.
Shayne Stockton then made it 4-1 early in the third period for the visitors with a solo goal that saw him cut through the home defence like the proverbial ‘Hot knife through butter’.
Storm then started to launch their comeback effort with a goal back from David Phillips after some good build up play by the home side saw Vinny Scarsella and the Hull connection of Matty Davies finding Phillips who put it on goal for a 4-2 score.
Then two minutes later the deficit was cut to a one goal game with Patrik Valcak skating towards net and his little pass back towards the side of the net had Vinny Scarsella net at 51.15 to see the Storm trail 3-4.
Sadly their rally proved to be too late in the game and Fife closed out the game to see them picking up a big win that sees them leapfrogging the Storm in the standings.