Ian Schultz hits a hat-trick as Capitals take down Flyers

Ian Schultz, left, scores his-hat trick for the Capitals. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
Ian Schultz, left, scores his-hat trick for the Capitals. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
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Edinburgh Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak with a fine 6-3 win over a short-benched Fife Flyers at Murrayfield last night.

Caps forward Ian Schultz led the way with a hat-trick, as Edinburgh fired six unanswered goals in an exciting come-from-behind win.

It looked so different early on as Edinburgh found themselves 3-1 down after just eight minutes. Flyers, without the considerable offensive talents of Ryan Dingle, Matt Sisca and Shayne Stockton, still took full advantage of some poor Edinburgh defensive play to score through Sebastian Thinel, Russ Moyer and Carlo Finucci. Caps put themselves on the board early themselves when Schultz scored to briefly pull it back to 2–1 in the seventh minute, after fine set-up play from Pavel Vorobyev.

Edinburgh bench coach Jock Hay, obviously delighted with the result, admitted his players were lucky to be supping their traditional post-match beers, after he almost poured them down the sink following their horror start.

Hay said: “We started the same way on Saturday (in a 3-2 loss at Braehead Clan) and found ourselves three goals down after seven or eight minutes, and that was a hole we weren’t able to get out of.

“Not repeating that was what we spoke about before the game, so to start again like that on Sunday was very annoying and disappointing. We were caught puck watching and that’s how Fife scored their goals.”

Fife enjoyed the better of the remainder of the opening 20 minutes, but a Matt Tipoff goal just 28 seconds before the end of the period was a real momentum shifter according to Hay.

“Tipper’s goal was a real pick-me-up for the guys, a great time to score. It was a double-whammy because it was a bad time for Fife to concede and probably brought them down a peg or two.

“We carried that momentum through into the second period where we played great, we upped our work rate and were good all over the ice, and we cut out our mistakes.”

“Dobs (player-coach Michal Dobron) made a wee change at the break and we increased our fore-check, we started getting in their faces, and they started turning pucks over and we took advantage of that.”

Edinburgh, buoyed by the Tipoff strike, played a terrific second period to take control of the game. Jacob Johnston snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Flyers goalie Shane Owen in the 22nd minute to tie things up at 3-3, before Schultz, with his second of the game, gave Edinburgh the lead, converting Yevgeni Fyodorov’s fine cross ice pass on the power-play just four minutes later.

Only penalties to Schultz and Jay King halted Edinburgh’s momentum, however this time when Fife turned the screw, Edinburgh’s defence stood resolute and ensured a lead for the home side going into the final period.

When Edinburgh increased their lead to 5-3 in the 42nd minute, Czech forward Karel Hromas flicking a deft finish beyond Owen after another fine Fyodorov pass, the Fife players visibly wilted and it was no surprise when Schultz rounded off his fine individual performance with his hat-trick strike five minutes from time.

A delighted Schultz, who picked up a deserved man-of-the-match award, stressed the importance of the win ahead of home and away games with Dundee Stars this weekend.

He said: “This win was huge for us. This is a very important month for us, with lot’s of Gardiner Conference. We felt we played pretty well on Saturday too but didn’t get the result we wanted.

“I hate to say this but our poor starts have been our ‘MO’ lately, so we don’t panic too much if we go down a couple because we know we have the firepower to come back and we’ve proven that time and time again. It’s not a position we want to be in but we’re okay playing behind the 8-ball early.”

On being pressed on his own performance, he added: “I feel I’ve been getting a few more bounces lately and every week I’m feeling more confident, hopefully that continues and I can become a real difference maker and we can keep moving forward as a team.”