Fife Flyers continued their stunning recent form to power into the Elite Ice Hockey League play-off finals weeekend with an emphatic 4-1 win at arch-rivals Dundee Stars last night.
Just as they had done the previous evening in the first leg in Kirkcaldy, the Flyers took control of this decisive tie at the Dundee Ice Arena by opening up a four-goal advantage. There was, though, to be no repeat this time of the way they had allowed themselves to be pegged back on their home ice as they shut the home team out until it was far too late to make a difference.
That Dundee comeback on Saturday evening had left things perfectly poised for the return.
The home side were highest ranked among the Scottish teams heading into the play-offs, having won the Gardiner Conference, their first trophy since gaining entry to the Elite League four years ago, so the single-goal advantage Fife took in as a result of Saturday's narrow 4-3 victory looked fragile.
However, Fife had come into the play-offs as the hottest team in the league having beaten Dundee and inflicting only a sixth league defeat of the season on table-topping Belfast Giants, during a run-in that had ended with back-to-back wins over Braehad Clan.
If the momentum had swung as a result of that Dundee comeback, they wasted little time in reasserting themselves in an arena that was packed to its 3000 capacity, as many of them Fifers as Dundonians.
Dan Bakala, Dundee's highly rated net-minder, was much the busier man in a scoreless opening quarter and there was something inevitable about the way the visitors got off the mark as, with John Dolan in the sin bin, they registered on a powerplay when Bobby Chaumont squeezed the puck to Jordan Fulton in front of goal.
If that literally made Dundee's task doubly difficult, putting them two behind on aggregate, they were in real trouble when Bakala made yet another stop but was unable to prevent the puck from rebounding into the path of Tim Hartung who had the simplest of tasks to knock it into a wide open net.
When Jamie Wilson then registered their third, it was the second time in this two-legged tie that they had produced a three-goal period, but the big difference was that, having had a total of five periods to recover when it happened on Saturday, Dundee had little more than one in which to get back this time.
It was clearly not going to be enough and when Matt Reber broke clear, then fired the ball past Bakala early in the final period, the home fans' misery was complete.
They were, at least, spared the embarrassment of being shut out on their own ice when Lubo Vaskovic eventually got them on the scoreboard, but it could barely be described as a consolation strike, failing as it did to in any way interrupt the visitors' celebrations.