Edinburgh Capitals now have a mountain to climb to make the end-of-season play-offs after the went down 4-1 to Coventry Blaze in the West Midlands tonight.
The Murrayfield outfit remain bottom of the Elite League table and are eight points adrift of final spot for the knock-out phase, which is now occupied by Blaze after they leapfrogged Dundee Stars with this victory.
A positive result in Coventry was imperative if they were to move up the table and it looked like the Caps were in the mood when Ian Schultz fired them ahead on five minutes, but three basic Edinburgh errors in their own zone enabled the hosts to build a 3-1 lead through two periods, Robin Bergman, Matt Marquardt and Jordan Pietrus with the goals.
The manner of the Blaze goals, despite losing the services of forward Matt Tipoff after he fell awkwardly in the opening minute, will infuriate Edinburgh player-coach Michal Dobron. Caps showed an inability to play an effective five-man defensive game, which has been the bane of much of this season for the Murrayfield men.
Coventry thoroughly deserved their win while the Caps, in a game against a play-off rival viewed by many as a must-win encounter, looked lacklustre for the most part despite creating some good scoring opportunities of their own in a penalty-strewn encounter, Karel Hromas wafting on the puck when shooting at an empty net the most notable.
Blaze winger TJ Syner added Coventry’s fourth before they lost goalie Brian Stuart to injury with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Back-up goalkeeper Renny Marr – the 19-year old brother of Capitals goalie Jordan – played out the remainder of the match looking comfortable in an excellent cameo performance.
Edinburgh are back in action tomorrow at third placed Sheffield Steelers.