Goals from Jade Portwood and Marcis Zembergs were the only bright spots as a short benched Edinburgh Capitals were easily beaten 7-2 by hard-hitting Cardiff Devils in Wales last night.
Capitals bench coach, Jock Hay, admitted his side were outplayed, but felt a head injury to forward Marc Fowley could have been avoided with a stronger performance from match referee Dean Smith.
With the home side already 6-1 ahead, Devils forward, Andrew Lord, received a match penalty late in the second period for a check to the head which left Fowley requiring stitches. The offence carries a minimum one-game ban, which may be increased pending a mandatory video review by league head of discipline, Moray Hanson.
Hay said: “It was a late hit against the boards after Fowley had passed the puck. The referee looked it over on the video at the end of the second period and said it looked pretty bad, so there could well be supplementary discipline involved.
“We’d spoken to the ref before the incident because there had been a couple of really late hits early doors and he just laughed – if he’d taken action then and given them a couple of penalties they would know they weren’t going to get away with it, but instead it ends up a young kid gets injured.
“Marc took a bad one, the doctor stitched him up, and he came back out and played on – you’ve got to hand it to him for that.
“We worked hard enough, but made a lot of silly mistakes, which has just been the story of our season.”
Meanwhile, with Capitals bottom of the British Elite League, fans finally had something to cheer as the Scottish National League side won their first league title in more than ten years with a 12-0 victory over Kilmarnock Storm at Murrayfield last night.
Edinburgh had to win by three goals to secure the trophy on goal difference from Kirkcaldy Kestrels, as over 800 fans turned out to watch them comfortably reach their target.
Defenceman, David Beatson, who was also part of their last league success in 2001, said: “It means everything to us.
“After our defeat to North Ayr a few weeks back everybody thought we had lost it because we had something like 30 goals to make up, so to pull it off is just fantastic.
“The SNL is a cracking league, the top four teams – North Ayr, Kirkcaldy, Dundee Comets and ourselves – are all very evenly matched, and it’s a great league to play in.”
And a delighted Beatson, who this year has split his time between the Caps SNL and Elite teams, warned there could be more to come as they look to repeat last season’s Scottish Cup success: “We have a semi-final against North Ayr in the cup and we have two games, home and away against Elgin in the quarter-finals of the play-off’s to look forward to.
“Signing for the Elite League team this season for guys like Sean (Beattie), Jay (King), Joel (Gautschi) and me has been really good. All the extra training has been amazing. There’s no substitute for ice time, it’s brought my game on no-end and that’s hopefully filtered down to my performances in the SNL team.”