EDINBURGH CAPITALS’ winning streak came to an end in East Yorkshire last night as a first-period power-play goal from Jeremie Tendler gave Hull Stingrays a 1-0 victory.
The result sees Stingrays draw level with Capitals at the foot of ice hockey’s Elite League, with the Humberside club having played two games fewer.
Capitals skipper Martin Cingel, whose team had won their last three games, refused to be downbeat, believing his team were unlucky not to take something from the game. “We battled hard, sometimes you have nights when bounces just don’t go your way,” he said.
“Both goalies played really well. The only goal that was scored all night was when we were killing a five-on-three power-play, which is really tough to defend against.
“Richard (Edinburgh player-coach Richard Hartmann) gave us a post-game speech in the locker room and told us to keep our heads up as we had put in a good team performance, and that sometimes you don’t get the rewards you deserve. As long as we’re creating chances, you can take something from the game. If we stopped creating chances, then that would be something to worry about.” The Caps are next in action tomorrow night, when they travel west to face-off against sixth-placed Braehead Clan. In pre-season the Renfrewshire outfit, backed by English millionaire and Nottingham Panthers owner Neil Black, were widely tipped to take the Gardener Conference by storm and even challenge for the league title.
After a promising start, injuries, loss of form and some ill-fated dealings in the player market have led to a disastrous December which has seen Braehead lose touch with the league’s leading clubs, to the point that player-coach Jordan Krestanovich has gone on record to say new players have been signed, and changes will be made in January.
Cingel, in his ten seasons as an Edinburgh player, is only too aware of how much a team can come together when battling through adversity and expects a tough time at the Braehead Arena, a venue where the Capitals have only ever tasted defeat.
He said: “I know from my own experience that if you’re short of players, or you have guys out injured, that it can bring teams together and spur you on to some fantastic performances. We can only think about ourselves and try our best to get the job done. The game will be very tough for us. We definitely do not start as favourites. Braehead have some very good players, including a guy who plays in the NHL, so it will be very difficult.”
In a busy end to the year, Edinburgh finally complete their 2012 schedule with an eagerly anticipated Hogmanay match-up with oldest rivals Fife Flyers at Murrayfield (face-off 4pm).
With Flyers now in their second season in the Elite League, Capitals co-owner Scott Neil is keen to see the old year’s night clash become a mainstay on the club fixture list as he attempts to integrate an afternoon of sporting entertainment with the rest of the city’s New Year celebrations.
He said: “Edinburgh Capitals and Fife Flyers have a great tradition of hockey, it’s a big rivalry and we’re looking to establish a Hogmanay fixture between the two teams as one of the key fixtures in the calendar.
“They’re always exciting games, this year especially as both teams fight it out for play-off positions. There could be a lot of fireworks and both teams will really be up for it. It has the potential to be a real classic.
“The early face-off time will allow those coming in to watch the game plenty of time to enjoy the other festivities the city has to offer.”