Edinburgh CAPITALS will make the trip over the Forth to Kirkcaldy tonight looking to exact swift revenge on fierce rivals Fife Flyers after their Hogmanay 5-4 shootout loss to ice hockey’s Elite League’s bottom club.
Player-coach Richard Hartmann has vowed that lines will be reshuffled in order to get more from his players tonight at 6.00pm and said: “I have to analyse everything that’s happened, our first line have not played well in our last couple of games, and once I’ve cooled down a little, I’ll think about changing the line combinations.”
Capitals, in front of over 1,600 fans, came back from two goals down to force a tie after 60 minutes, but ultimately fell short after they failed to find a winner in overtime, and Fife’s Canadian forward Mike Hamilton was the only scorer in the shootout, handing the Flyers their fourth victory of the season and consigning Edinburgh to their seventh straight defeat.
Hartmann added: “We didn’t perform for 40 minutes and only started to play in the last period and that’s not good enough.
“We didn’t stick to our system and we weren’t moving like we’re supposed to, the forwards didn’t play well, and put our defence under a lot of pressure, creating a lot of turnovers.
“On the positive side, we didn’t give up and came back from two goals down, but overall I’m disappointed.”
Capitals’ outshot their opponents 43-21, and dominated the five minute overtime period, but could not find a way past Flyers’ net-minder Garrett Zemlak. But the 22-year-old Canadian is wary of a Capitals backlash tonight saying: “We’ve had a tough first half to the season, but we’ve now won our last two games, and we’re on a bit of a streak.
“Edinburgh will be fired up, coming into our building to play us, and it’s going to be an emotional, tough, game. They’re a skilled team who pass the puck well and don’t give up.”
Flyers took the lead inside six minutes, Hamilton rifling past Capitals goalie Nathan Craze.
But Edinburgh equalised with a power play goal. Hartmann and Jan Safar combining well to set up Rene Jarolin to snap a shot high into the net.
In the second period, Flyers built a 3-1 lead with two well taken goals.
Hamilton scored his second and Fife’s third goal came in the 33rd minute after Danny Stewart picked his spot to the right-hand side of Craze.
Edinburgh had pulled a goal back through Richard Hartmann before Flyers restored their two goal cushion, Kirkcaldy-born trio Andy Samuel, Jamie Wilson and Steve Gunn breaking the length of the ice before Gunn was on hand to neatly finish a Wilson cross-ice pass.
Capitals continued to have the majority of the play and scored their second power-play goal of the game when Marcis Zembergs tapped in a rebound after Zemlak had saved an initial slap-shot from Tomas Valecko at 49.32.
Edinburgh deservedly equalised in the 54th minute, with Capitals’ man of the match, Jarolin scoring his second of the game calmly placing his shot high above Zemlak.
In the frantic final minutes, Capitals’ continued to dominate and had numerous chances, including a missed penalty shot from Sean Menton, but the Fife defence stood firm and set the scene for Hamilton’s dramatic penalty-shot winner.