Edinburgh Capitals player-coach Riley Emmerson believes his players “must learn to control their emotions” following last night’s 3-0 Challenge Cup home defeat to Braehead Clan.
Nevertheless, he praised his team for their grit and determination in what, despite the defeat, was comfortably their best home performance of the new season against a strong Clan side who will surely be challenging for silverware.
The visitors looked rock-solid in defence and took advantage of 12 power-play opportunities given to them by referee Rab Cowan, scoring all three of their goals with the man advantage.
Emmerson said: “Our discipline killed us, three power-play goals says it all. We did create chances and I think we showed that we’re a good team. Coming on from last week, we were 150 times better. We spoke before the game about how good a team they are on the power-play and they showed it.”
Emmerson will be most disappointed with two ten-minute penalties taken by his players. Kyle Bigos was called for a check-to-the-head when he overreacted to a scuffle that occurred after the play had been called dead in the Braehead defensive zone. The other was a misconduct penalty given to Everett Sheen when he fired the puck down the ice in frustration after being called for slashing in the second period.
Emmerson continued: “We could have easily not taken a couple of those penalties. Did the ref miss some the other way? Yes, but that’s hockey sometimes. If we go out and yell at the ref he’s going to make us pay for it. We’ve got to learn to control our emotions and worry about our own game because that is all we can control. We cannot allow ourselves to be influenced by the referee.
“It sucks loosing, but Braehead are a very good team. We were way better five-on-five tonight and that’s a positive we can take from this, if we had been more disciplined we could have turned this around.”
Braehead opened the scoring on the half hour, Jamie Fritch firing in from the left circle, seconds after Caps goalie, and home team man-of-the-match Carson Chubak, made an incredible point-blank reflex save to deny Stefan Meyer.
It was Emmerson himself who was in the penalty box for interference when Clan increased their lead eight minutes later, Scott Pitt finishing smartly after a nice reverse pass for Brendan Brooks.
Edinburgh battled right to the end but could not find a way past Braehead’s impressive former KHL goalie Chris Holt, who rarely looked flustered in a 23 shot shut-out. Pitt rounded off the scoring with his second of the game less than three minutes from time.
Meanwhile, the Capitals picked up their first win of the season on Saturday night coming from behind to beat Dundee Stars 4-2 on Tayside.