Capitals admit they must defend better after Braehead defeat

Jared Staal, right, scores the second goal for the Capitals. Matt Tipoff is on the left. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
Jared Staal, right, scores the second goal for the Capitals. Matt Tipoff is on the left. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
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Edinburgh Capitals forward Pavel Vorobyev urged his team-mates to do more to help out goalie Travis Fullerton after Caps were well beaten 5-2 by Braehead Clan at Murrayfield last night in ice hockey’s Elite League.

Edinburgh endured a nightmare opening two periods as Braehead built up a commanding 5-0 lead, with all five goals coming direct from rebounds after Fullerton had made the initial save.

Vorobyev said: “We did not play well in front of our net, especially our ‘D’, we need to pick up sticks rather than trying to hit them in front of the net. They scored all their goals from rebounds and we need to help out our goalie, it’s a big problem for us in almost every game.”

A key momentum shift came after only seven minutes as Edinburgh failed to capitalise on a full two minute five-on-three power-play opportunity, and experienced former NHL forward Vorobyev believes the Murrayfield men were left to rue their missed chances to take an early lead.

“That five-on-three was such an important situation, if we score we lead 1-0 and it could have been a different game, but we didn’t and they got a lot of confidence from that and went on to score three first-period goals and make it very tough for us.

“Last night was just a bad game for us; we made a lot of mistakes, especially passing. We made bad passes all game, we were struggling, and we didn’t take enough shots, especially on our power-plays.”

After what had been an even opening 15 minutes, Braehead grew in confidence as the period went on and opened the scoring through Matt Haywood, who finished a move he started after his end-to-end rush set up Callum Boyd, Haywood scoring after Fullerton did well to deny the former Edinburgh man. Two further goals less than 90 seconds apart had the home side reeling. Corey Cowick was left alone to convert an initial shot from Scott Pitt, and former NHL tough-guy Jay Rosehill scored an almost identical goal, crashing the net with speed to cut through the Edinburgh defence once more.

Braehead, with their straightforward, direct style, did not look like a team low on confidence or indeed energy after they had endured back-to-back defeats at home to Sheffield and away to Belfast in what was their third game in as many nights. Edinburgh in contrast were just needing too much time on the puck, or wanting to make an extra pass, and it was Clan who continued to generated the better chances out-shooting Edinburgh 39-23.

Clan had already increased their lead to 4-0, through Zach Sullivan, before putting the game out of sight as early as the 33rd minute, Cowick scoring as Braehead made no mistake on their five-on-three power-play as Edinburgh ran into penalty trouble.

Edinburgh spared themselves the embarrassment of being shut-out at home when Garrett Milan tipped an initial shot from Mike D’Orazio past Michal Zajkowski at 44 minutes and 25 seconds, and scored a further consolation goal through Jared Staal on the power-play after he converted a slap-pass from Michal Dobron in the 58th minute.

Vorobyev, although disappointed with both result and performance, believes Capitals can make the necessary improvements ahead of two tricky games this weekend, travelling to Manchester Storm on Saturday before entertaining Coventry Blaze at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Vorobyev concluded: “We should be okay, we will talk to each other and things will be said in the locker room to help us prepare for two tough games this weekend.

“I really like it here, this is a great city. We have a really good group of guys in the team and great fans. I’m enjoying the training, the games; I’m just enjoying every day.”