Capitals coach Dobron orders team to battle to the end

Ian Schultz scores for the Capitals to make 4-4 against Fife
Ian Schultz scores for the Capitals to make 4-4 against Fife
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Edinburgh Capitals play Braehead Clan at Murrayfield on Sunday in their only game of the weekend, in an Elite League clash (face-off 6pm).

And player-coach Michal Dobron is hopeful that his battle-cry during the second-period break in last week’s stunning comeback victory over Fife Flyers rings true for the remainder of the season.

Edinburgh trailed 4-1 after 40 minutes of their Challenge Cup group match, but scored five unanswered third-period goals to grab an unlikely 6-4 win and qualify for the quarter-finals.

Dobron said: “We were playing like hockey was something we did as a hobby, and nothing was going right. I told the guys, it’s okay to lose, but we can’t lose until the battle is over. It’s how I’ve played the game all my life and it’s how I want this team, to play.

“We were great in the third period, back to our game and playing heads-up-hockey. We’re in for a tough match against Braehead but if we play like we finished the game against Fife we can win.”

Garrett Milan and Ian Schultz, who scored the crucial game-winning fifth goal, both came back earlier than expected from injury to play and Dobron was pleased to report both came through the match unscathed.

“Garrett and Ian are ready to go, it was great that they were able to play last week. I spoke to both players before and during the game and they both told me they were feeling good out there. It’s important that we have them back, but (injured Czech forward) Karel Hromas is still not ready to return”

Edinburgh, who have only played one league game this season, last month’s 3-2 win over Manchester Storm, should go into Sunday’s game with confidence having won five out of their last six matches, including two Challenge Cup wins against Braehead, who themselves have a busy weekend facing-off against Sheffield Steelers last night, before travelling to Belfast Giants today.

“For Braehead it will be their third game in as many nights so perhaps they will be a little tired,” continued Dodron. “That’s not for us to worry about it, we can only focus on our own performance, and if we concentrate on that we should be okay.”

Braehead endured a poor start to the season, losing their first six games but have since picked up wins from two of their last four, which is enough to give recent Clan signing and former Edinburgh fan-favourite Callum Boyd some optimism going into Sunday’s game.

Boyd, who spent two years at Murrayfield before signing for Clan in a summer move said: “We started the season a bit slow, but we’ve grabbed a few wins now and we are starting games off stronger, it will be a tough game with Edinburgh on Sunday, but we seem to be getting better with each period we play.

“I feel I’m settling in well here, but it was a bit strange coming back to Murrayfield to play a game but not for Edinburgh. It kind of felt like I had come back home but then I was warming up at the other end of the rink and looking over at the fans and the Edinburgh 
players.

“I got a lot of cheers from the Edinburgh fans, which was nice, they seemed happy to see me, but then there were also boos when I ran into (Capitals goalie) Travis Fullerton. That’s to be expected though, I don’t know what I was doing there, my mind kind of just went blank.”

The 22-year-old admits to still keeping an eye on how his old club are doing and continued: “I saw they were struggling in pre-season but once Travis and a few of the other boys have come in it seems like they’ve been doing a lot better. I don’t like to say this, but Edinburgh are one of the teams that maybe other teams don’t have that high an expectation of, but regardless of how the team is doing Edinburgh’s fans are always behind them and it’s good and really nice to see them playing the way they are just now and winning games.”