Celtic Cup Action
Dundalk Bulls v Fife Flyers
Sunday 23rd November
The Dundalk Bulls took on the Fife Flyers on Sunday at the Dundalk Ice Dome. There was great anticipation in the build up to this game, with coaches, managers and teams eager to bag 3 points, especially the Fife Flyers having lost 5-3 to the Hawks the night before. But the Mighty fighting Bulls wanted to keep up their winning streak, after defeating the Solway Sharks and bagging 6 points in a double header the previous weekend.The Bulls knew that this was going to be a tough game, as the Flyers have lost just one game in the league, and that was against the Hawks on the day before.
The 1st period started off fast and physical, with both teams working hard to get hold of the puck. The Bulls were the first in the sin bin at 0:38 # 5 Timothy Tabb was called for interference. Luckily enough for the Bulls, the Flyers could not make anything from the powereplay, as the Bulls worked hard to kill off the penalty. There was a great crowd at the Ice Dome, with some very musical fans from Scotland enjoying this highly anticipated match. But it was the Flyers who struck first with Jamie Wilson breaking down the Bulls defence. Both teams were called for penalties midway through the period, but it wasn’t clear which territory the puck was being played in as both teams were fighting for possession. Despite the Fife Flyers best efforts, they could not break down the high quality goaltending of Christian Ajnesjo.
The Bulls were determined to get one back on the Flyers, with some smart thinking and fast changes in evidence. Bulls #18 Marek Baily came close to hitting the back of the net, but failed to get past the Flyers goaltender #31 Blair Daly, and not long after the Flyers had lift off, when #11Todd Dutiaume had a clean break away through the Bulls defence. But the Bulls weren’t long in getting back in the game with some nice passing and more shooting taking place in the Flyers zone. At 15:59 the Flyers got another one up on the Bulls with #10 Steven Gunn netting the puck with force. At 16:41 #29 Emile Kacir from the Bulls was called for a hooking penalty, and the Flyers weren’t long getting to work on the powerplay, as #11Tood Dutiaume scored, giving the Flyers a 4-0 lead going into the 2nd Period.
The 2nd period began in high class fashion. The Bulls defence just went down once again as #11 for the Flyers scored . But the Bulls weren’t slow about getting into shape as #10 Colin Port netted the puck finally putting the Bulls on the scoreboard, assisted by the reliable #16 Eric Hogberg. But they weren’t happy with just that, Eric Hogberg lead his team to attempt a mighty comeback at 27:03 making the score a hotly contested 4 – 2 to the visitors. Once again there was great defensive skill from both teams, but there were still a lot of chances made by the Scottish Side. The Flyers weren’t long flying to the net, with #13 Steven Lynch scoring a great goal, which will stick with him for a long time to come.
At 35:03 the Flyers flew to the sin bin, with #2 Thomas Muir being called for interference. The Bulls were using the puck wisely on this powerplay, and came close to netting a number of times. After a lot of hard work, the home team called time-out, and coach Kenny Redmond’s plotting proved effective, as the Scottish side failed to get their eye on #6 Adam Larrabree who scored a cracker, which lifted the Bulls bench. The next few minutes was played in the Flyers zone, but the tables turned, when #7 Steven Mc Alpine was working the ice as he had a shot on goal, but it failed to get past the superb goal tender from the Bulls. Coming to the closing stages of the game, the Bulls #23 Vlad Zak was called for interference, while the Flyers scored there last goal of the game on the powerplay with # 11 putting another score on the score sheet.
The Final score was 3-7 to the Fife Flyers.
‘This was a tough and physical game’ said Martin Grant, ‘which saw the Irish Champions take on the Scottish Champions, and it was tough for the Bulls, but both teams put in an enormous amount of effort’ he added. Credit has to be given to the officials on the day, who made some great calls.