Flyers’ hopes of reaching finals weekend ended yesterday as they were shut out by Nottingham in the second leg of their Elite League play-off.
The first leg at Fife Ice Arena on Saturday night had finished locked at 3-3 but it was Panthers who got the crucial opener in the second meeting as Dylan Richard scored into an empty net in the sixth minute.
Chris Stewart hit the visitors’ post before the end of the first period and Fife netminder Shane Owen kept his team in the hunt with a save from a Brett Perlini shot late in the second.
Panthers piled on the pressure in the final period but Flyers survived and pushed for an equaliser in the last five minutes. However, they were unable to create clear-cut chances.
Head coach Todd Dutiaume opted to pull Owen for an extra skater but the gamble backfired as Richard netted his second from his own zone to extend Panthers’ lead with two minutes left.
Fife’s hopes were extinguished as Chris Stewart set up Robert Farmer to score with just over a minute to go.
Flyers had twice led by two goals in the first period on Saturday as Bari Mackenzie, Joe Basaraba and Mike Cazzola netted the home goals.
Scottish hopes were killed off last night as Glasgow Clan joined Fife in bowing out.
Clan had won Saturday’s away leg at Guildford 3-2 after leading 3-0 after 24 minutes, Gerard Hanson, Rasmus Bjerrum and Scott Pitt netting.
It was a different story last night, however, as Flames won 5-0 at Braehead to advance to the last four.
Flames led 2-0 after eight minutes with goals from Jamie Crooks and Ian Watters.
Evan Janssen added a third after 39 minutes and there was worse to come for the Purple Army.
Calle Ackered made it 4-0 in an empty net with less than three minutes left when Clan coach Pete Russell withdrew his goaltender to give him six skaters.
And T J Foster added a fifth with 40 seconds left as Flames secured their place at Nottingham later this month.
Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils complete the semi-final line-up.
Giants, the league and Challenge Cup champions, remain on track for a domestic sweep with a 12-2 aggregate win over Coventry Blaze while Devils saw off Sheffield Steelers 11-8 over the two legs.
Steelers had won Saturday’s clash 5-4 but Cardiff posted a 7-3 victory last night to advance.