Heavy schedule tells on Edinburgh Capitals

Jade Portwood, right, Daniel Naslund, back centre, and Dennis Rix, left, are prevented from scoring
Jade Portwood, right, Daniel Naslund, back centre, and Dennis Rix, left, are prevented from scoring
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Three games in three nights proved too much for a short-benched Edinburgh Capitals at Murrayfield last night, losing 3-0 to Braehead Clan in their Challenge Cup clash.

However, Capitals netminder Tomas Hiadlovsky is adamant fans will not need to wait long for a home win if the players in front of him continue to show the same heart and commitment displayed against a strong Clan side.

Caps, already without forwards Riley Emmerson and Greg Collins, lost Lukas Bohunicky to a shoulder injury after 12 minutes and Joe Grimaldi did not ice after the first period.

Hiadlovsky, who with 42 saves won his third man-of-the-match award in as many nights for the club, said: “It was a hard game. We played a good first period, but after that we were two import defenders down and it was so difficult, for 15 minutes we played with only eight players.

“They were awesome; they were blocking shots and getting rid of rebounds. We were a real team out there and showed a lot of character. Each of us gave our best and if we keep doing that it won’t be long before we start winning games regularly.”

After a fairly even opening period, Clan came out firing after the interval and it was real backs-to-the-wall stuff from the home side until Clan broke through with a power-play goal in the 33rd minute from Derek Roehl. Clan doubled their lead early in the third period through Stefan Meyer and completed the scoring ten minutes from time through Matt Keith for what was a deserved victory for the visitors.

Despite being heavily out-shot Caps did look dangerous on the break, spurning several guilt-edged chances, either missing the target or finding Clan stopper Kyle Jones in fine form.

Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann felt Edinburgh had created enough to get something from the game and said: “I’m never happy to lose, but I’m very proud of the guys right now because they gave everything out there.

“We’ve had a tough weekend with games in Belfast and Hull and last night we came in and changed up the lines. Overall the compete level was unbelievable, we created chances and if we’d put them away the game could have been different.”

With players out, youngsters Sean Beattie, Callum Boyd and Jay King, who have iced in every game this season, were given increased responsibility and Hartmann said: “I have been very impressed with them. They’ve come in and taken their chance and that’s what I want to see. They will get a lot of ice time. They just need to keep doing what they’re doing, keep up the hard work and I’m sure they will grow into really good players.”

Last night’s result sees Edinburgh prop up Challenge Cup Group B and it was their third defeat in as many games in the competition.

There was better news for the club on Saturday, winning 5-2 away to Hull Stingrays in the Elite League after Friday’s 8-2 loss in Belfast.

Meanwhile, Capitals have confirmed they will appeal the ten-game suspension dished out to Reilly Emmerson for a hit on Belfast Giants’ Kevin Phillips earlier this month.

The hit was initially viewed as only a minor penalty, but was upgraded by the Elite League’s Department of Player Safety.

Capitals co-owner Scott Neil said: “Because of the excessive length of the ban, and because we have evidence that we believe the league are willing to accept we’ve put in an appeal. It’s something that clearly has to be done.

“At the time of the hit there was no call – it was only after the play was stopped for the injured player that a penalty was given. So to upgrade from that to a ten-game suspension is something I’ve never seen in all my days in hockey. As it stands he’ll be out until November and there are certain things we would like to get to the bottom of to understand why this is such a heavy punishment.”