Edinburgh Capitals put in a poor performance resulting in a 6-3 loss to Belfast Giants at Murrayfield last night.
Coupled with Saturday’s 6-2 defeat to Cardiff Devils in Wales it completed a miserable weekend for the club.
Bench coach Jock Hay admitted his side were “dominated” at times and despite a bright opening and spirited third period from an otherwise outworked Edinburgh, the scoreline did not flatter Belfast in the slightest.
The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges and a costly turnover from Pavel Vorobyev, when it looked like he had bailed out player-coach Michal Dobron after his initial mistake on the Giants blue-line, led to a break-away dispatched on the rebound by Chris Higgins in the ninth minute – the only goal of the first period.
“The first period wasn’t too bad, especially the first seven or eight minutes,” said Hay. “We fell away a wee bit after that and Belfast started to take over and that spilled over into the second period where we were totally dominated.”
After the interval fans witnessed one of the most one-sided periods of hockey in recent years at Murrayfield. Edinburgh could simply not take the puck off a set of skilful Giants forwards who grew in confidence with every passing minute as a nervous Capitals defence refused to play the body, much to the frustration of the home support.
Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the level of dominance enjoyed by the visitors was the scoreline. Giants only added two goals, through Mike Forney, and man-of-the match Steve Saviano, the two strikes sandwiched between a 36th minute goal for Edinburgh scored on the power-play by Mike D’Orazio.
When Belfast were gifted a fourth goal scored by Blair Riley in the opening minute of the third period, a flat affair that even failed to excite the visiting fans, such was the one-sided nature of the contest, looked dead and buried. Caps changed things up moving Ian Schultz back to a defensive role in favour of Jaroslav Hertl and two goals 70 seconds apart from a Dobron slap-shot and a Schultz effort from just inside the blue line that flew into the top right-hand corner, turned the game on its head. It may have taken 50 minutes but fans from both sides suddenly had a game worth shouting about. Edinburgh pushed a shell-shocked Giants for an equaliser, a Schultz effort hit the side netting and Capitals’ captain Jacob Johnston twice missing narrowly with blue-line blasts. Only a penalty with two minutes left to Edinburgh’s Russian forward Yevgeni Fyodorov, killed the home side’s momentum. Giants scored with the extra man through Riley, the same player completing his hat-trick less than 30 seconds later with another break-away goal.
Hay continued: “We were lucky to go into the second-period break just two goals down. But we changed things up a little in the third, we scored two quick goals and found ourselves right back in the match.
“We were all over them until that late penalty. We did well to battle back like we did but these things have to be applied for 60 minutes. We should never have found ourselves in that position in the first place.”