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Fife Flyers Ice Hockey Club is the oldest professional ice hockey club in the UK, established in 1938. The Flyers play their home games at Fife Ice Arena in Kirkcaldy which has a capacity of just Over 3000 (seated and standing). The arena is home to not only Fife Flyers, who play in the Elite Ice Hockey League but also to Kirkcaldy Junior Ice Hockey Club. Traditionally many of the Flyers' players have come up through the junior ranks to play at a "professional" level.
|League||Elite Ice Hockey League|
|Home arena||Fife Ice Arena|
|Colours||Blue, gold, and white|
|Owner(s)||Tam Muir and Jack Wishart|
|Head coach||Todd Dutiaume|
Ice hockey has successfully been a part of the Fife community since the Flyers' inaugural season in 1938.
The Flyers have put together a team of players from the UK, Europe, and North America. They joined the EIHL in 2011. The current head coach is Canadian Todd Dutiaume who has been assisted by Jeff Hutchins since the 2016-17 season.
Early years (1938–1980)Edit
Fife Flyers' first game was on 1 October 1938 versus Dundee Tigers, with the first goal scored by Norman McQuade and the honour of being the first club captain fell to Les Lovell Snr.
The Flyers won the Scottish element of the Autumn Cup for the first time in 1948, felling Falkirk Lions in the Final. They were runners-up in their attempt to defend the title in a year where they also won the Scottish National League (SNL) for the first time. Fife won the Scottish Autumn Cup back in 1950, this time against the Ayr Raiders, which formed a Double as they retained the SNL title. In 1954 Fife joined the British National League, and in its maiden campaign finished ninth in the eleven-strong division. The League was reduced from eleven to five after all but one–the Paisley Pirates–of the Scottish contingent pulled out.
In 1972 Fife won the Northern Autumn Cup–reconstituted as a regional tournament in 1967–before lifting it again thrice more before the decade was out. They would also achieve success in league action, winning the Northern League two seasons running. The Flyers also played in the one-season Scottish National League in 1981–82, finishing third.
British Hockey League years (1982–1996)Edit
Fife joined the new British Hockey League (BHL) in 1982. In the 1984–85 BHL season, the Flyers won the Scottish section of the now-national Autumn Cup, before losing the Final at Streatham Ice Rink against Durham Wasps. The Wasps would also pip Fife to the regular season championship, but the playoffs were won by Fife, who beat fellow Scots the Murrayfield Racers in the final. The Racers' revenge came in the playoff semi-finals the following season. Fife Flyers were beaten Autumn Cup finalists again in 1986–87, losing to the Nottingham Panthers at the National Exhibition Centre, and there would be no silverware in the playoffs either as Durham Wasps defeated Fife, as they would in the following season. The 1988–89 BHL season would see Fife Flyers fail to graduate from their playoff group, sparking a barren run which would take in semi-final defeat to Welsh club Cardiff Devils in 1989–90, a finish of dead last the year after, and a season outside the top-flight; reaching the BHL final four for the final time in the 1993–94 BHL season.
Back in the British National League (1996–2005)Edit
The Flyers joined the new second tier British National League (BNL) in 1996. The BNL featured a Premier League and a Northern Premier League in the début season. Fife finished top of the Northern Premier League's first round, before winning the playoffs. They lost the Inter-League Final to the Swindon IceLords, however Ice Hockey Journalists UK (IHJUK) awarded both the Coach of the Year Trophy and Player of the Year Trophy to Mark Morrison. The second season saw the conferences of five teams renamed to Northern and Southern Pools, and again Fife came top of their region. In the National Pool they finished sixth out of nine (the Cardiff Devils' second side were excluded from the National Pool), with all ten teams in the end-of-season events. Having won Group B to be Scotland's only survivors, the Flyers were downed in the semi-finals by Hullite club Kingston Hawks.
The BNL did away with regional conferences for 1998–99, and Fife Flyers finished fifth in the first round, with Slough Jets top of the nine-strong league. With only bottom club Paisley Pirates failing to make the playoffs, both the Flyers and the Jets qualified from Group A, and both won their semi-final (against Guildford Flames and Basingstoke Bison respectively) to face each other in the Final, which was won by the Scottish club, giving them their first BNL title. Defending their title in 1999–2000, the Flyers were imperious, finishing first both in the regular season and their playoff group before winning the semi-final, and the Final itself, against Basingstoke Bison.
Searching for a three-peat in 2000–01, the Flyers delivered their worst BNL performance yet, failing to reach the semi-finals for the first time at this level. Flyers posted a semi-final finish in three of the following four campaigns: beaten by Dundee Stars in 2001–02, by the Bracknell Bees in 2003–04 and in 2004–05 (the last BNL season), the Flyers fell to the Flames, after only last-placed Edinburgh Capitals failed to qualify for the playoffs.
After the Edinburgh Capitals and Newcastle Vipers joined the top-flight Elite Ice Hockey League (the Superleague having ceased operations in 2003), the BNL folded, with all the former BNL clubs joining other leagues.
Silverware in Scotland: British, Caledonian, and Celtic competitions (2005–2011)Edit
The Flyers' next destinations were the resurrected Northern League and the third iteration of the SNL. They were very successful in their first season at these levels, winning both Leagues, their respective playoffs, the Scottish Cup, and the Scottish Autumn Cup. These comprised a Grand Slam. The following season, the John Brady Bowl–awarded to Northern League playoff champions–was the only trophy to have eluded them.
Leaving the SNL but remaining in the Northern League, Fife were founder members of the five-team Scottish Premier Hockey League in 2007. They extended their dominance to this new division; since Fife Flyers entry in to the Scottish Premier, they have won 11 out of 12 trophies while recording a new club record of 47 consecutive wins and a 50-game unbeaten run, from September 2006 to April 2007, while again winning the regular season and the playoffs in both set-ups. Flyers entered the Celtic League Cup for its inaugural competition in 2008–09, a league composed of six clubs, two from Ireland and four from Scotland. They finished top of the league, and won the four-team playoffs, as well as winning the Northern League, Scottish Cup, and Scottish Autumn Cup. A more modest season was to follow as their haul in 2009–10 featured the Scottish Cup and the final Celtic League Cup, before their final season in the Northern League ended with Fife first.
Flying high: Fife in the Elite League (2011–present)Edit
In late June 2011, the Fife Flyers were accepted into the EIHL, replacing the Newcastle Vipers for the 2011–12 season. The Flyers found the going tough in their first season back in Britain's top flight ice hockey league. A combination of relative inexperience and a smaller number of foreign players meant that the Flyers finished in last place, missing the play-offs entirely. With a year of top-flight experience, the Flyers' second season (2012-2013) was moderately more successful. The team, led by key players Casey Haines, Derek Keller, and Bryan Pitton, was almost unbeatable at home, but struggled to win games away from Kirkcaldy. They finished seventh in the league, resulting in an eighth position seeding for the play-offs (Hull Stingrays, despite finishing 8th in the league, had won their conference and were consequently seeded second overall as conference winners). Fife played Nottingham Panthers over two hotly contested legs, winning 4-2 at home before losing 3-0 in Nottingham and being eliminated from the play-offs.
Despite this loss, the team returned for the 2013-2014 season with renewed vigour. A squad overhaul meant that only two foreign players, Bobby Chaumount and Danny Stewart, returned from the previous year. After a poor start to the season continued through the winter, changes were made in February, leading to a significant improvement in play. The ensuing successful run saw them qualify for the play-offs in the very last game of the season. They defeated the Gardiner Conference champion Dundee Stars 8-4 on aggregate and made the final four play-off finals in Nottingham. Their semi-final game against the league winning Belfast Giants was hotly contested, but the Giants emerged 1-0 winners.
While many players from the semi-final team returned for the 2014-2015 season, the team saw mixed results on the ice. The Flyers qualified for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup and for the play-offs, but did not progress to the finals. With only Danny Stewart and Kyle Haines returning as foreign players for 2015-2016, the squad underwent a major overhaul. The Flyers finished 6th in the league and 2nd in their conference, losing to Braehead Clan on equal points. Fife drew the Clan in the quarter-finals and won a close victory (2-1 at home, 2-2 away after overtime). Their semi-final game against Nottingham Panthers was less successful, with Fife losing by a score of 4-1.
Fife flyers also went on to win the Gardener conference for the 17/18 season with an away win over Dundee Stars with a win in Overtime 7-6 to secure the title. They also spent a long period of time in the 17/18 season in the top 4 of the league but were forced to finish 7th in a very tight league table.
Fife flyers target the league title for the 18/19 season after their positive start to the season.
Elite Ice Hockey League recordEdit
|Number||Player||Place of birth||Catches||Acquired||Joined from|
|50||Shane Owen||Markham, Ontario, Canada||L||2018||GKS Katowice, Polska Hokej Liga|
|35||Craig Douglas||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||L||2018||Kirkcaldy Kestrels, SNL|
|1||Andrew Little||Paisley, Scotland||L||2018||Kirkcaldy Kestrels, SNL|
|Number||Player||Place of Birth||Shoots||Acquired||Joined from|
|4||Chris Wands||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||R||2011||Home Grown|
|5||James Isaacs||Victoria, British Columbia, Canada||R||2016||Melbourne Mustangs, AIHL|
|43||Ricards Birzins||Riga, Latvia||R||2017||Aigles de Nice, Ligue Magnus|
|3||Reece Cochrane||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||L||2017||Home Grown|
|6||Scott Aarssen||London, Ontario, Canada||L||2018||Sheffield Steelers, EIHL|
|7||Rick Pinkston||Trenton, Michigan, United States||L||2018||Milwaukee Admirals, AHL|
|53||Evan Stoflet||Madison, Wisconsin, United States||R||2018||Milton Keynes Lightning, EIHL|
|29||Craig Moore||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||R||2018||Cardiff Devils, EIHL|
|Number||Player||Place of birth||Shoots||Position||Acquired||Joined from|
|91||Chase Schaber||Red Deer, Alberta, Canada||L||LW/C||2016||Norfolk Admirals, ECHL|
|40||Carlo Finucci||Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada||L||LW||2016||Swindon Wildcats, EPIHL|
|37||Chad Smith||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||R||F||2016||Kirkcaldy Kestrels, SNL|
|10||Evan Bloodoff||Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada||L||LW||2017||Reading Royals, ECHL|
|78||Danick Gauthier||Waterloo, Quebec, Canada||L||LW||2017||Tulsa Oilers, ECHL|
|80||Paul Crowder||Victoria, British Columbia, Canada||R||C||2018||Cardiff Devils, EIHL|
|13||Mike Cazzola||Guelph, Ontario, Canada||L||C||2018||Edinburgh Capitals, EIHL|
|92||Brett Bulmer||Prince George, British Columbia, Canada||R||RW/LW||2018||Florida Everblades, ECHL|
|18||Joe Basaraba||Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada||R||RW||2018||Greenville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL|
|9||Bari McKenzie||Dumfries, Scotland||R||F||2018||Glasgow Clan, EIHL|
|20||Calum Robertson||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||L||F||2018||Edinburgh Capitals, EIHL|
|34||Jordan Buesa||Troon, Scotland||L||F||2018||Glasgow Clan, EIHL|
|71||Marcus Basara||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||R||RW||2018||Manchester Storm, EIHL|
- * Denotes two-way contract with Kirkcaldy Kestrels of the SNL
Retired jersey numbersEdit
- 16 Gordon Latto, the team's longest serving player who started playing with Fife Flyers in 1972 and retired in 1998, recording 974 games with a total of 1,265 points.
- 17 Mark Morrison
- 47 Frank Morris
- 14 – Was considered unlucky and taken out of circulation following a serious eye injury to the British forward Andy Linton and a career-ending injury to the Canadian defenceman Calvert Brown, but has been re-introduced in recent years.
All time statistics
- Most games played: 974 – Gordon Latto (Snr): (1972–1998)
- Most points: 1265 – Gordon Latto (Snr): (1972–1998)
- Most goals all time: 393 – Mark Morrison (1993–2005)
- Most goals in a season: 108 – Dave Stoyanovich (1984–85)
- Most assists in a season: 117 – Dave Stoyanovich (1986–87)
- Most points in a season: 211 – Richard LaPlante (1991–92); 189 – Mark Morrison (1993–94); 188 – Bud Scrutton (1948–49); 185 – Dave Stoyanovich (1984–85) & Chick Mann (1948–49)
- Most powerplay goals in a season: 38 – Russell Monteith (1999–00)
- Most shorthanded goals in a season: 13 – Doug Smail (1993–94)
- Most shut-outs in a season: 7 – Blair Daly (2006–07); 5 – Roy Reid (1964–65)
Game records (all players)
- Fastest goal in 1 game: 6 seconds – Les Lovell (1975)
- Most goals in 1 game: 13 – Dave Stoyanovich (1984)
- Most assists in 1 game: 13 – Steve Moria (1987)
- Most points in 1 game: 17 – Richard LaPlante (1991)
Game records (home based players)
- Most goals in 1 game: 8 – Jimmy Spence (1964); 7 – Les Lovell (1976) & John Haig (1997)
- Most assists in 1 game: 9 – Gordon Latto(Snr) (1977) & Ally Brennan (1976)
- Most points in 1 game: 11 – Gordon Latto(Snr), John Taylor & Les Lovell (all 1977) 10 – John Haig & Steven King (1997) 9 – Chic Cottrell (1974)
BIHWA Hall of Fame inducteesEdit
All Star honoursEdit
- Les Lovell 1970–71
- Ally Brennan 1972–73
- Gordon Latto 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79
- Dave Stoyanovich 1984–85
- Doug Smail 1993–94
- Mark Morrison 1996–97, 1997–98
- Stephen Murphy 1999–00
- Al Rodgers 1946–47, 1947–48, 1949–50
- Lawrie Lovell 1975–76
- Ron Plumb 1984–85
- Brian Kanewischer 1990–91
- Mark Morrison 1996–97, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2003–04
Player's Player of the Year
Netminder of the Year
- Stephen Murphy 1999–00
- Gordon Latto 1998
Rookie of the Year
Young Player of the Year
Notable former playersEdit
- Celtic League Playoffs: 2008–09, 2009–10
- Celtic League Cup: 2008–09, 2009–10
- British National League: 1999–00, 2003–04
- Grand Slam: 1977, 1999–00[clarification needed], 2005–06[clarification needed], 2006–07[clarification needed]
- British Champions: 1976–77, 1977–78, 1984–85, 1998–99[clarification needed], 1999–00[clarification needed]
- Scottish Premier Hockey League Champions: 2007–08
- Scottish Premier League Play-off: 2007–08
- Northern League Play-off: 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11
- Northern League Champions: 1976–77, 1977–78, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2010–11
- Autumn Cup: 1949–50, 1972, 1975, 1976, 2005, 2008
- Grandstand Trophy: 1964–65, 1966–67
- Spring Cup: 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77
- Anderson Trophy: 1938–39, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1949–50
- Airlie Trophy: 1953–54
- McPherson Trophy: 1939
- Silver Jubilee Trophy: 1948
- Coronation Cup: 1948–49
- Scottish League: 1939–40, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1963–64, 1990–91, 1995–96, 2005–06, 2006–07
- Scottish Cup: 1984–85, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Skol Cup: 1964, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1976–77
- Scottish Canada Cup: 1949–50
- STV Trophy: 1964–65
- Directors Trophy: 1965
- Cola-Cola Trophy: 1964–65
- Slapshot Trophy: 1977
- Evening News Trophy: 1976–77
- Forth Challenge Trophy: 1983
- Northumbria Cup: 1976–77
- Taws Trophy: 1990–91
- Christmas Cup: 1999–00
- Caledonia Cup: 2002–03, 2003–04
- Findus Challenge Cup: 2001–02
- "FLYERS ANNOUNCE HUTCHINS AS ASSISTANT COACH".
- "A strip down memory lane". Nottingham Panthers official matchnight magazine, against Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers. Nottingham Panthers: 29. 22 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2005/06" [Championship of Great Britain 2005/06]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2006/07" [Championship of Great Britain 2006/07]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2007/08" [Championship of Great Britain 2007/08]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2008/09" [Championship of Great Britain 2008/09]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2009/10" [Championship of Great Britain 2009/10]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Championnat de Grande-Bretagne 2010/11" [Championship of Great Britain 2010/11]. hockeyarchives.info (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Player of the Year Trophy". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2007.
- "Coach of the Year Trophy". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2007.