Edinburgh CAPITALS player- coach Richard Hartmann admitted he had to use the first-period interval to try and calm down his excited players after they scored six goals in the game’s opening 15 minutes to pave the way to a 9-5 victory over Hull Stingrays at Murrayfield last night.
The win, coupled with Saturday’s 5-4 overtime victory in Wales against Cardiff Devils completes a timely four-point weekend for the Edinburgh club, and keeps them firmly in the hunt for an end-of-season play-off place.
A delighted Hartmann, who did not ice after picking up a back injury in Cardiff, said: “We’ve had chances before to complete a four-point weekend, but could never finish the job, last night we did it and I’m really pleased and proud for the boys.
“Getting a couple of early goals helped, it was a great boost and you could see the self-belief and confidence grow throughout the team. I had to try and calm players down at the first break, everyone was so excited, and wanting to score more goals.”
Early on, Caps simply blew Stingrays out the water, and led 5-0 through goals from Martin Cingel, Curtis Leinweber, Neil Hay, Jade Portwood and a first goal in three seasons for assistant captain Danny McIntyre, before Stingrays top-scorer Jereme Tendler got the visitors off the mark at 12.55 with a shorthanded effort. Edinburgh defenceman Brent Patry completed the first period scoring at 14.43, with a blast from the blue line that flew past despairing Hull, and Team GB goalie, Ben Bowns.
Stingrays’ player-coach Sylvain Cloutier expressed his disappointment that four of Edinburgh’s early goals came on the power-play, after his team fell foul of referee Neil Wilson.
Cloutier said: “We were very undisciplined in the first period and it cost us, Edinburgh have an extremely good power-play at home, they move the puck very well, and it suits their big ice surface.
“During games you’re going to get hooked, you’re going to get slashed, but you can’t retaliate, it’s not the way to play the game. The last time we did something similar here we lost 6-2. I felt we took over the game in the second and third periods but by then it was too late.” Tendler grabbed the visitors the only goal of the second period, before a flurry of late scoring saw both sides share six goals in the third. Cloutier, and ex-Capitals forward Jason Silverthorn, with a double, scored for Stingrays, whilst a brace from Edinburgh leading scorer Rene Jarolin, and a second goal of the game for Portwood ensured a comfortable win for the home side.
Portwood, who looks back to top form after recently returning from a groin injury that kept him out of the line up for almost three months said: “When you have a big lead it’s easy to sit back and just watch the clock wind down; I think we did that a little too much and they gave it to us for a bit there. We did still manage to keep scoring throughout the game though.”
Hartmann made significant changes to the line-up over the weekend, replacing the previous system of two heavy goal scoring lines and one primarily defensive line made up of local players to three balanced lines integrating Jordan Steel, Neil Hay and Joel Gautschi with the seven import forwards on the Edinburgh payroll, giving each line an equal share of ice time, and Portwood was pleased with the new look Caps.
He said: “It’s a great idea. Last night Marcis (Zembergs) and I played with Joel and he played great.
“We had a lot of talent in those two lines but splitting them into three gives us all more rest, keeping us fresh, allowing us to make smarter and better plays during games. It certainly worked well for us this weekend.”