Ice Hockey: Edinburgh side make up for Fife mauling

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Edinburgh Capitals’ player-coach, and last night’s man-of-the-match, Richard Hartmann, praised his players and thanked the fans after his side exacted a swift revenge over Fife Flyers for last week’s mauling in Kirkcaldy, winning 7-2 at Murrayfield.

The result, coupled with Saturday’s impressive 4-1 win over Braehead Clan in Glasgow, their second in nine days, gives the Caps a three-game winning streak and Hartmann said: “Our fans deserved that. We needed to make it up to them after our bad performance in Fife last week, and a win like last night is the best apology we can make, as well as thanking them for all their support as we battle to make the play-offs.

“On Saturday we picked up a nice win in Glasgow, but it would have meant nothing if we hadn’t beaten Fife. I’m really happy for the boys because they gave me 100 per cent effort.

“I’m never happy with everything we do, and I always have something to be grumpy about, but right now it’s time to focus on all the positives.” With 36 points from 42 games, Edinburgh move alongside both Fife and Braehead in the standings, although both sides have two games in hand over the Murrayfield men.

Capitals’ Latvian forward, Marcis Zembergs, who scored Edinburgh’s sixth goal, said: “Last night was important for the fans and the players. With each match we play there’s a lot on the table and every point is vital. Our goal was two wins this weekend, and we achieved that.

“The standings are certainly interesting, but we can’t worry about that too much. We need to approach every game like it’s a must-win, and in the ten games we have left that must be our attitude.” The scoreline was harsh on the visitors, who were right in it until less than five minutes remaining, when a Jade Portwood tip from a Hartmann slap-shot put the hosts 5-2 ahead, and the result beyond doubt.

Fife goalie and Corstorphine resident Blair Daly, a product of the Capitals’ junior system, was not happy that Edinburgh’s opening goal, scored by Peter Holecko at 19.28, was given and said: “A couple of calls did not go our way. Edinburgh’s first goal was definitely not over the line, that changed the game, and then we conceded an unlucky goal when we had brought it back to two each.”

The Holecko strike was one of six Capitals power-play goals and Daly added: “In the first ten minutes we controlled the game but then we started to give away stupid penalties and we tired towards the end.”

Going in a goal down after an even first period in which both goalies faced nine shots, Fife came out strongly in the second, but crucially for the Caps Hartmann doubled their advantage, expertly finishing a fast break set up by Michal 
Dobron and Rene Jarolin.

The visitors then came right back in to the game, netting twice in 90 seconds. Bobby Chaumont scored on the power-play, before Danny Stewart tied the game up in the 29th minute when he was first to the rebound after Capitals goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky made his only mistake of what was an excellent weekend, spilling a Derek Keller shot.

There was a degree of fortune about Edinburgh’s third goal, a Curtis Leinweber shot from a bad angle deflecting off a defenseman’s shin and past a helpless Daly. However, there was nothing lucky about Edinburgh’s fourth, Jarolin finishing off a lovely move at the back post after some tic-tac-toe passing between Leinweber and Portwood at 39.28.

In a final five-minute goal-fest, Portwood and Zembergs had already made it 6-2, before Holecko rounded off an excellent weekend for the Edinburgh club, scoring his second, and the team’s seventh, with only 32 seconds remaining.