Ice Hockey: Capitals celebrate new signing

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EDINBURGH CAPITALS 
today completed the signing of Canadian defenceman Brent Patry after a weekend of woe on the ice rink.

Caps were crushed 9-1 by Belfast Giants on Saturday night and after only arriving back into Edinburgh at 5.30 yesterday morning, they were then defeated 3-2 by Sheffield Steelers last night at Murrayfield in the Elite League.

Patry, who arrives from Italian club AHC Neumarkt Egna, scored 15 goals in the French top flight for Chamonix last season, the highest number for a blue-liner in the league. Barring any paperwork issues, he should be in the Caps’ squad for the trip to Coventry Blaze on Wednesday.

The Caps definitely need a boost. Their assistant coach Jock Hay was left raging after last night’s loss, believing a “ridiculous call” by referee Tom Darnell cost his side a valuable victory, as the visiting Sheffield Steelers scored two third period power-play goals to claim a 3-2 win in an entertaining encounter.

With the home side leading 2-1, and with little over ten minutes remaining, Edinburgh’s Neil Hay received a five minute plus game penalty for kneeing, after a collision with Steelers defenceman Danny Meyers, which saw the GB internationalist leave the ice with concussion. Sheffield scored two goals from the resulting power-play and consigned Edinburgh to their fifth straight defeat, leaving them rooted to the foot of the league table five points behind second-bottom Fife Flyers.

A furious Hay said: “It was a battle between the two teams – and it was a good hockey game – but to lose out in such circumstances makes it very hard to take.

“It was just a ridiculous call; it wasn’t even a penalty, never mind a five minute plus game. Apparently it was the linesman who made the call. These guys really should be sure of what they’re saying to the referee, especially at such important stages of a match.”

Hay was full of praise for his team’s performance. “We put so much into that game, dominated it for large spells and deserved something from it,” he said. “We worked hard, challenged for everything and made some nice plays. For the whole night we kept it going and never gave up. If we played like that every week, it would be more than 
acceptable, win or lose.”

Steelers head coach Ryan Finnerty believed his side were fortunate to come away with the win and said: “If we didn’t have that five minute power-play it may well have been a 
different result as we struggled to score although I thought we played very well in the third 
period.

“We knew we were in for a tough battle, and we were lucky to scrape the win, although it has come at a great cost with the injury to Danny Meyers. It was definitely accidental. Danny’s got concussion and he’s in a pretty bad way right now.”

Edinburgh enjoyed the majority of the play in the opening 20 minutes and deservedly took the lead at 12.08 when Martin Cingel finished off a nice move involving new signing Curtis Leinweber and Peter Holecko.

Sheffield got a controversial
equaliser on 26 minutes. Jeff Legue fired a shot through the legs of Capitals goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky, but the net appeared to have been knocked off its moorings prior to the puck crossing the line.

Capitals went back in front three minutes later with a power-play goal from man-of-the-match Michal Dobron, the Czech internationalist scoring from distance after a pass 
from player-coach Richard Hartmann.

Steelers controlled the final period, outshooting the home side 17-5, with Caps falling foul of referee Darnell, who, prior to Neil Hay’s ejection, had sin-binned Edinburgh’s Frazer Goldie and Michal Benadik. Sheffield’s Sean Limpwright had scored Steelers’ second goal before ex-NHL star Steven Goertzen was on hand with the game winner, deflecting an initial shot from Rod Sarich at 50.33.