Edinburgh Capitals expecting biggest ever crowd this weekend

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EDINBURGH Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann is looking for his side to rock this weekend as they prepare to welcome their biggest ever crowd.

Close to 2000 fans are expected at the Murrayfield rink on Sunday when ice hockey meets AC/DC as part of the Caps’ “Rock the Rink” promotion (face-off 6pm).

DJ Scott Wilson will be playing rock music throughout the night and there will be lot’s of competitions and give-aways as well as special merchandise on sale. Caps owner Scott Neill said: “We’re all looking forward to a great night. This will be by far our biggest ever home support; there will be a fantastic atmosphere, with so many people getting behind the team and it will show what ice hockey in Edinburgh should be all about.”

Murrayfield Racers legend Willie Clark said: “There are few buildings that can generate the noise and atmosphere of MIR when full and it will be great to see such a large crowd.”

Edinburgh will still be without defenceman Michal Benadik but could well be boosted by the return of Canadian forward Jade Portwood who resumed training this week after missing eight games with a groin injury.

Stingrays will welcome back starting goalie Ben Bowns after he returned from Japan with the rest of the GB squad who successfully made it through to the final round of qualifiers for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and will be looking to avenge a 4-3 shoot-out loss in their last visit to Murrayfield.

But Caps must be wary of being swept away amid all the showbiz razzamatazz because they have a crunch trip to Kirkaldy tomorrow where they face Fyfe Flyers.

Hartmann said: “I’m hoping our younger players don’t get too excited for Sunday. We’re here to play for the fans and we’re delighted so many are coming. We want to show them our best; we’ve been playing well recently, and we’re looking for that to continue.”

For Hartmann and his players, there will be no saving themselves for Sunday as they have important business across the Forth. Fife’s midweek 4-3 win over the Stingrays moved them a point ahead of Edinburgh in the standings and left the Caps propping up the Elite League in tenth place with nine points from 15 games, and the Murrayfield men are keen to put to bed a terrible performance last time out in Kirkcaldy which resulted in a 2-1 defeat earlier this month.

Hartmann said: “Last time out in Fife it was a poor game from both teams. It was during a bad patch where we hadn’t scored for a few games, we’re playing much better now and I fully expect the effort we’ve shown recently to continue, and I’m looking to get full points.”

A victory over the Flyers would be Edinburgh’s first win away from home this season, a streak Hartmann expects to put an end to sooner rather than later, especially after leading for the majority of the game in last Sunday’s final-minute 5-4 road loss to Dundee Stars.

Hartmann added: “After that loss I said some pretty harsh words to the boys in the locker room, but after analysing everything and watching the game again on DVD I think we were the better side for the most part. The guys gave everything they had; it was our third game in three days, and just a little bit of tiredness at the end cost us.”