Edinburgh Capitals, thrashed 8-3 by Dundee Stars at Murrayfield last night, were embarrassed in more ways than one, as their new ice hockey season opened in farcical fashion in which they played the game with their tops on inside out.
Edinburgh and Dundee both arrived for the Challenge Cup clash with identically coloured red strips with Caps, who traditionally play in blue or white, turning their tops inside out in order for the game to go ahead.
Edinburgh, who have a special red jersey for home Challenge Cup games, are not due to play any Elite League fixtures until September 24, and had arranged for their traditionally coloured strips to be delivered this week.
The game was played in front of a host of sponsors who were guests of the club as part of a season-opening night thank-you dinner.
Edinburgh co-owner Scott Neil pointed out Elite League rule 209, which states all visiting teams must play in “white or light coloured” tops, and said: “Despite this problem the game had to be played.
“There were two sets of fans to be considered. The game had to start on time and Dundee did not have time to return with alternative tops. We have a great relationship with the Stars and we could not have this stand-off ending in a stalemate. The fact we had our strips on inside out made no difference to the score line.”
Caps, who were missing experienced No.1 goalie Travis Fullerton as the Canadian waits for final clearance on his work visa, and injured defenceman Mike D’Orazio, were up against it from the start and trailed 2-0 after the first period through two goals back-up net-minder Craig Mallinson, who did make some smart stops throughout the match, would have been disappointed to lose.
In the seventh minute Mallinson attempted to dive on a loose puck but misjudged the distance allowing Ben Edmonds a tap-in finish. Less than two minutes later Italian internationalist Tommaso Traversa caught out Mallinson with a shot from the left-hand boards, just inside the blue line.
In a game full of cheap penalties from both sides, Edinburgh opened their account for the season with a power-play goal in the 23rd minute, Yevgeni Fyodorov scoring on a rebound after a Jacob Johnston slap-shot had come off the post. However, a poor turnover 30 seconds later left Mallinson exposed as Cale Tanaka scored on the break-away. Former Manchester Storm sharp-shooter Vinny Scarsella scored Dundee’s fourth. Garrett Milan scored a second power-play goal of the night for the home side in the final minute of the second period.
Despite what was a heavy defeat, there were bright spots for the Murrayfield faithful. Edinburgh’s Russian pairing of Fyodorov and Pavel Vorobyov looked dangerous all night, and Caps had the majority of the play in the middle period but often found experienced Stars goalie Joe Fallon,just too good.
When Dundee stretched their lead to 5-2 through Felix Poulin the game was over as a contest. Scarsella and Poulin scored Dundee’s sixth and seventh goals before Fyodorov, with his second of the game, and Tanaka, also with his second of the night, traded goals late on.
Capitals player-coach Michal Dobron said: “With the jerseys, you can laugh at something like that, it’s just life. It made no difference to the players. I thought we played a good first two periods before making some big mistakes in the third. We gave away lots of two-on-one – and even three-on-one – breakaways and Dundee killed us.”