Fife Flyers ended their sorry season with another defeat, but they pushed play-off bound Glasgow Clan all the way at Kirkcaldy in their final game of the regular season.
Rodney Southam opened the scoring after seven minutes for Clan but less than two minutes after that Fife were level through James Anderson and the Premier Sports Elite League’s bottom club shocked the visitors with a second after 15 minutes from skipper Mathew Carter (picture courtesy of Fife Flyers).
The second period was blanked but 1min 56sec into the third Clan levelled, Tim Shoup netting and Nolan LaPorte put the Glasgow side ahead for the first time 58 seconds later.
And it was 4-2 when skipper Dyson Stevenson netted after 44 minutes but Fife refused to lie down and Carter claimed his second with less than six minutes left to make for a nervy finish in a game which finished at 4-3 and in which Fife outshot Clan 26-24. Glasgow, however, march into the play-offs with their third win in their last four games.
Elsewhere, Charlie Combs netted a treble and Seb Bengtsson the game-winner 1min 09sec into sudden death overtime as Dundee Stars came from behind to edge Coventry Blaze 4-3 in their clash in The Skydome.
John Curran netted the opener for the home side after 12 minutes and added a second nine minutes later.
Combs pulled one back for the visitors on the half-way mark and the same player levelled with 50 minutes on the clock but three minutes later Dillon Eichstadt put Blaze ahead 3-2 only for Combs to be set-up by Spencer Dorowicz to claim his hat-trick with 33 seconds left and send the game into overtime.
Glasgow Clan finished sixth after the regular season in the Elite League and now face Cardiff Devils, who finished third, in a double-header with the winner in the aggregate-scoring series moving through to the semi-finals at Nottingham on April 30.
Dundee Stars, who finished seventh, will face Sheffield Steelers, who finished runners-up to Belfast Giants, in their double-header.
The full play-off line-up is: Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze: 23.04.22 19:00 in Coventry: 24.04.22 16:00 in Belfast; Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars: 23.04.22 19:00 in Sheffield: 24.04.22 17:00 in Dundee; Cardiff Devils v Glasgow Clan: 23.04.22 19:30 in Cardiff: 24.04.22 18:00 in Glasgow; Nottingham Panthers v Guildford Flames: 23.04.22 18:00 in Guildford: 24.04.22 16:00 in Nottingham.
Malcolm Cameron, Clan’s coach, said: “We know we are playing a good offensive and defensive team and it is our goal to play our style of game, keep it low scoring and keep Cardiff in check. Take one shift at a time.”
Tickets for Clan’s home tie are now on sale.