Ice Hockey: Daniel desperate to end barren run with Capitals

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DANIEL McINTYRE is fed up – and no wonder. The home-bred defenceman hasn’t won a game this year since returning from Fife Flyers to Edinburgh Capitals.

That’s nearly 40 ice hockey games without cause to celebrate, but the Edinburgh-born 27-year-old is confident that can change in tomorrow’s Challenge Cup Group A clash at Dundee Stars. The self-employed fitness instructor is still smarting after the squad let slip a 2-1 lead against arch rivals Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy last Saturday. It was two power-play goals in 62 wretched third-period seconds which clinched the 3-2 victory – Flyers’ first since moving up from the Northern League at Capitals’ expense – despite Capitals outshooting the Rosslyn Street side 39-16.

McIntyre, now in his second spell with the club after spending three years with Fife, said: “We played really well but switched off for a short time and it cost us. We outshot them and should have won.”

McIntyre loved the atmosphere at Kirkcaldy and is enjoying being back in Britain’s best league. He fits in playing for Capitals alongside a growing business and he said: “It’s getting busier now after the holidays. People go away and relax and then come back with good intentions. I can do my training in a client’s home, in a gym and its tailored to suit and it all depends on the person. My training for the Capitals is going well and the team is beginning to gel. We started late and we’re still working on things, but we’re getting better week by week and game by game.”

Capitals emerged pointless after the weekend following their 4-2 home reverse by Braehead Clan. McIntyre, son of Murrayfield Racers defenceman Duncan McInytre, who played with the now defunct but famous club during their glory years when they ruled British ice hockey, said: “We deserved something from Sunday. Braehead came into the game after beating Dundee 6-0 in their opening game in Glasgow on Saturday. They started well but we came into the game during the first period and should have been ahead. Bari [McKenzie] hit the post with a rocket shot. We were 1-1 at the time and it could have been a different game had that shot gone in.”

As it was, Capitals tied the first and last periods 1-1 but crucially lost the middle session 2-0.

McIntyre added: “There is no doubt we pushed them. Bari hit the post, Richard (Hartmann) also hit the post and so did Marcis Zembergs. We didn’t get the breaks. We’ve got good players and we’re getting going, however it will take us a few weeks to really gel and to find out how good our guys really are.”

Confidence is a major factor in the Elite League and a victory on Tayside would be the tonic the squad and the club’s long-suffering fans want. McIntyre said: “We’re definitely looking to win at Dundee on Saturday, but we expect it to be close. Dundee will come at us as Braehead did but it is up to us to weather the storm and take it from there.”

It may only be a Challenge Cup game but that does not matter to determined McIntyre. All he wants is a win. That would hopefully move the Murrayfield side off the bottom of the Challenge Cup table. So far, Capitals have lost all three of their cup clashes and prop up the five-strong table with a goal difference of minus ten.

Dundee are second-bottom with one point from two starts and a goal difference of minus six but Edinburgh must beware Jarrett Konkle, the sharpshooter who was brought in to replace Peter Cartwright but has yet to ignite. He has scored a goal and set up another in four games in all competitions. McIntyre said: “A win at Dundee would set us up for the league game with Belfast Giants at Murrayfield on Sunday. Belfast are leading the league and it will be a tough one for us. They beat us comfortably in Belfast and Doug Christiansen [Capitals’ former player/coach] has a quality side there. They head the Challenge Cup table and the league and when we played them over there, they won 8-1.”