A goal by player-coach Richard Hartmann with just ten seconds remaining gave Edinburgh Capitals a dramatic 4-3 win over Fife Flyers in the Forth derby at Murrayfield.
The experienced Slovakian believes the result, which gave the club their third-straight victory, will go a long way to reversing the effects of their recent run of 14 games without a win.
He believes last night’s success put his players “in a good frame of mind” for the remainder of the season.
Hartmann, who returned to the team in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Dundee Stars after missing 11 games with a knee injury, said of his late strike: “It doesn’t matter when you score the goal – we’re just delighted with the win. We scored one more than them and that’s all that matters.
“I’m really pleased, because we took about ten minutes to recover after conceding a stupid goal early in the second period, but we went back to basics and got stronger as the game went on. We finished the match really well and had a few chances to score a little earlier than we did, but we’re all so happy we got one in the end.
“It’s given the guys a real boost. We’ve been talking about this game all week. We knew we had to go out and win it to satisfy our fans and put us in a good frame of mind for the rest of the season, and we’ve gone and done that.
“Up until a few weeks ago things have not been going well, and we were fighting about how we needed to play. We sat the guys down and had lots of little chats and said this team needs to find a way to start winning games.
“Recent results prove we can do it. The boys are starting to understand what I want from them – we’re sticking together as a team and we’re getting the wins.
“Everyone’s giving their all out there, but that’s what you’ve got to do if you want to take home the prize.”
Hartmann, who also opened the scoring for the home side less than two minutes in, was rewarded for his efforts with the man-of-the-match award, but still feels short of fitness after his enforced time behind the bench, continuing: “I’m not feeling that great. I’ve been out for five weeks, so I’m struggling a little bit with the conditioning. I think I’ll need another couple of weeks for everything to settle down and then I’ll have no excuses.”
Fife pulled level in the match through a power-play marker in the 19th minute from Matt Reber, before Scott Fleming put them ahead with the second period just 20-seconds old, scrambling the puck home after slack play from the home side allowed a melee to ensue in front of goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky.
The visitors continued to enjoy the majority of the play until a 12th goal of the season from Capitals’ top-scorer Rene Jarolin, and a power-play effort from Captain Jade Portwood in the 40th minute turned the game in favour of the home side.
Flyers forward Bobby Chaumont tied the game at 3-3 early in the third period, which set up a nervy final 15 minutes in which both teams had chances to win, before in the final seconds some quick passing around the Flyers’ goal pulled keeper Kevin Regan out of position allowing Hartmann to fire high into the right-hand side of the net.
Caps’ two wins this weekend see them leap-frog Dundee at the foot of the table, moving up to ninth place on 11 points from 16 games, two points behind Hull Stingrays, who occupy the eighth and final play-off place.
Edinburgh will look to continue their good form when they return to action on Sunday, travelling down to South Wales for their only game of the weekend and a tilt at Erhardt Conference side Cardiff Devils.