Edinburgh Capitals goalie Travis Fullerton believes keeping the Sheffield Steelers fans quiet is crucial ahead of tomorrow’s Challenge Cup quarter-final second leg in Yorkshire.
The tie is finely balanced after Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Murrayfield, with both Fullerton and Sheffield counterpart Ervins Mustukovs stealing the show with some huge saves in an even and entertaining encounter.
The return leg, due to be played at the compact Ice Sheffield rather than the far grander and bigger Sheffield Arena, is expected to be a 1500 sell-out and Fullerton said: “I heard it’s going to be a good crowd, and everyone will be up for the game, so we need to silence them early if we can.
“I’m sure they’ll come out hard and I guess we’ll need to weather the storm a little but we’ve shown we can play with any team in the league, and the longer it goes like that the better it will be for us. We just need to put our best foot forward and try to get a win down there.”
Edinburgh can perhaps count themselves unlucky not to be a taking a lead to the Steel City, missing a host of power-plays opportunisties late in the second period and conceding an equalising goal less than three minutes from time.
“We had some great chances on those power-plays, we hit a couple of posts and you need to credit their goalie and penalty killers who did a good job but we know we let that slide a little,” said Fullerton.
“We’re a little unfortunate not to be up by two or three but it is what it is. We’re in good shape, they’re a really good team but the score is effectively 0-0 going into the second leg and that’s not a bad place to be.”
The winner will face-off in the semi-final against either Nottingham Panthers or Braehead Clan, who Edinburgh entertain on Sunday night in an Elite League clash at Murrayfield (face-off 6pm). Fullerton joined Edinburgh from Braehead after he spent the second half of last season with the Glasgow outfit and, for the laid-back stopper, Sunday’s match is just another game.
In the three matches played between the sides so far this season, Caps won twice in the Challenge Cup group stage with Clan winning 5-2 on league business last month.
Fullerton said: “This is the fourth time I’ve faced them. The first time was kind of exciting and different but it’s just another game for me now. Our focus is tomorrow and once that’s done we’ll try to recover and then focus on Braehead. It should be a good game. They’re a good, balanced, well-coached team.”
Sunday also sees the return of the North America-inspired teddy-toss night. Traditionally, the crowd throw bagged soft toys onto the ice when the home side score their first goal of the game, with all toys from the Murrayfield event, organised by the Edinburgh Capitals Supporters Club, being donated to the city’s Mission Christmas appeal.However, the ECSC have decided the bear-chucking will begin whenever the first goal of the night is scored, whether it be Clan or a Caps player who lights the lamp.
“I think it should be when we score but that’s just my opinion,” said Fullerton. “I’ve seen a few of them over the years. It’s a good thing we’re doing and it’s for a great cause. I think it’s more exciting for the fans to toss it out there after an Edinburgh goal but we’ll just have to wait and see.”