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Saturday: Flyers clinch, four teams left for two playoff places

Photo: Derek Black

The final Saturday night action of the 2023/24 Elite Lague regular season did not disappoint. 

Heading into the day, five teams were fighting for three playoff places - by the end of it, four teams are now left battling for two, and everything will come down to the final gameday.

Fife Flyers were the big winners of Saturday night, securing their playoff place on the road in Dundee. In front of a packed house, Kyle Osterberg scored a hat trick as the flyers ran out 6-2 winners. Combined with results elsewhere, that was enough to secure the Flyers' place in the post-season. Where they finish in the standings however is still up for grabs - they'll play Dundee on Sunday in a game the Stars must win to qualify.

Also big winners were Coventry Blaze, who shut out Cardiff Devils on their own ice. Five goals from five different scorers saw the Blaze run out 5-0 winners at the Vindico Arena with Taran Kozun posting a 41-shot shutout. The win, combined with results elsewhere, moved the Blaze back into a playoff place ahead of Sunday's home fixture against Guildford.

In Manchester, Nottingham Panthers got the two points they needed to keep their playoff chances alive. A fine 4-2 win over the already qualified Storm means that Jonathan Paredes' team will return to home ice on Sunday still with the chance of making the playoffs - thought it isn't in their own hands, and they'll need t owin plus hope for help from elsewhere.

Belfast Giants, meanwhile, ended their regular season with a 4-1 win over Sheffield Steelers. All five goals came inside the final 16 minutes of the game as the hosts came from a goal down to then lead through Will Cullen's penalty shot. The result was only the Steelers' fourth road defeat of the season.

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