Despite a spirited performance Edinburgh Capitals succumbed to a 4-0 defeat against a strong Cardiff Devils side in Wales last night, a score-line Caps’ hard-nosed defence-man Kyle Flemington believed flattered the home side.
“I thought it was a closer game than the scoreline suggests,” said Flemington. “We battled hard for 60 minutes, we could have done more to prevent two goals we conceded in the second period, but we created chances all night – we hit the post four times – and just didn’t get the bounces when we needed them.”
Led by excellent rear-guard displays from Flemington and Kyle Bigos, Edinburgh held their own in a goalless first period. The two giant defenceman looked at home on Cardiff’s small ice pad and laid out big clean hits on the Devils forwards. The visitors looked dangerous on the break and out-shot their hosts ten to nine in the opening 20 minutes.
Edinburgh sniper, Ryan Hayes came closest to breaking the deadlock when put through one-on-one with Devils net-minder Ben Bowns but saw his effort cannon off the post. The American forward endured a frustrating night in what was to become a personal duel with GB International goalie Bowns, ringing the iron three times on the night, and also producing one of the saves of the season from the Englishman, when Craig McCallum put him through on goal late in the second period.
Devils got on the board in the 24th minute, Joey Haddad with his back to goal and, using Capitals’ forward Sean Beattie as a screen fired, a shot on the turn through an unsighted Carsen Chubak in the Edinburgh goal.
Edinburgh fell further behind after paying the ultimate price for a sloppy line change, which resulted in a Devils power-play for too many men on the ice. Former Braehead man, Leigh Salters, took full advantage, rifling a hard one-timer over a helpless Chubak after being set up with a lovely pass from Devils’ Czech play-maker Tomas Kurka in the 35th minute.
Devils, through Zack Hervato, put the game beyond the visitors with their third goal, after Flemington appeared to have been hit from behind by the goal-scorer seconds earlier, however no call was made by referee Stefan Hogarth.
With Caps throwing everything forward in the final minutes in an effort to deny Bowns his deserved shut-out, Haddad scored his second of the game, on the breakaway with just 15 seconds remaining, to earn the Welsh outfit their seventh straight home win of the season.
It was better news for Edinburgh on Saturday night, when a straight hat-trick from Craig McCallum and a 41-save display from Chubak, resulted an impressive 6-2 win over Braehead Clan at Murrayfield. Paul Zanette with a double and Taylor Dicken were also on target for the Caps, sandwiched between an early goal from Clan’s Matt Haywood and a late consolation marker from defence-man Ric Jackman.
Summing up his thoughts, Flemington said: “We’ve played well in both games this weekend, especially Saturday. We’ve made a statement to the league that we’re no joke this year, and you’re going to have to work extremely hard if you want to take the points off us.