Edinburgh Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann spoke of his relief today after his team beat Hull Stingrays 4-3 at Murrayfield and snap an 11-game winless streak.
Caps were never behind in the match, but had Greg Collins to thank for a goal six minutes from time, after Hull had battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 down.
Hartmann, who did not ice after picking up a knee injury during Edinburgh’s 7-3 defeat at Braehead Clan on Saturday, said: “I can’t speak for the rest of the boys but I’m just so relieved to get the win, especially after the disappointment of yesterday, when we conceded so many sloppy goals.
“I’m not happy about the goals we lost tonight either but at least we played how we talked about it in the dressing-room. We were better defensively and off the back of that we created quality chances going forward.
“veryone played their part in this much-needed win, and now that we have this monkey off our back I’m hoping it will be the first of a lot more as we look to hold on to this play-off spot.”
Edinburgh began the game noticeably more patient on the puck and opened the scoring in the tenth minute, Kyle Flemington muscling to the front of the net from his customary position on the blue line to convert a Collins pass. Caps doubled their advantage just 90 seconds later, Riley Emmerson this time applying the finish in front of Stingrays goalie David Brown.
Hull pulled a goal back early in the second period, their GB international Matty Davies springing a two-on-one break and his clever cross ice pass was converted by on-rushing American forward Will Frederick. Hull enjoyed large amounts of time in the Capitals defensive zone, but it was the home side producing the better scoring chances playing on the break.
Caps goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky made 29 saves in a solid performance, but could do nothing to stop Stingrays’ man-of-the-match Carl Lauzon levelling at 2-2 when he scored a fine individual goal in the 45th minute.
Parity was brief. Edinburgh enforcer Emmerson, who at 6ft 9in proved a real handful for the smaller ’Rays defenders, again planted himself in front of the net to deflect an initial shot from Loren Barron past Brown.
Lauzon again proved the difference for the visitors, firing a first-timer past Hiadlovsky from out wide after the Slovakian had done well to save an initial effort from Frederick.
Hull, whose player-coach Omar Pacha received a ten-minute misconduct penalty at the final buzzer, can feel aggrieved that no penalty call was made by referee Jonny Liptrott when Lauzon was brought down near the Capitals net only for the counter attack to lead to Collins’ game winning goal at 53.52.
Hartmann was in no mood to talk about refereeing decisions, already looking forward to Edinburgh’s next game at home to Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.
“We need to enjoy this and make sure we get it into our systems how good it feels to win and make it a feeling we want to repeat,” he said. “We’re in a play-off battle and we have to look at every game almost like a ‘must win’.”