Edinburgh Capitals captain Martin Cingel revealed a verbal blast in the vein of Sir Alex Ferguson from player-coach Richard Hartmann inspired the team to a 5-2 Elite League ice hockey victory over arch rivals Fife Flyers at Murrayfield last night.
The performance, a complete turnaround from Saturday’s 6-3 capitulation away to Braehead Clan, snapped a five-game losing streak and was their third win of the season.
The Slovakian, in his tenth year with the Caps, said: “After the Braehead game Richard gave us his version of the Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment. It was the kick we needed. We were focused, cut out our defensive mistakes and played together as a team.
“We deserved the two points and it’s always a great feeling to beat the Flyers.”
The home team were led by a man-of-the-match performance from returning net-minder Tomas Hiadlovsky and a hat-trick from goal machine Rene Jarolin. The free scoring winger, who has now scored 11 this season, believes last night’s performance is something to build on for the year ahead.
Jarolin said: “This year we have a great goalie, which is a huge asset for us, but we have not been winning as many games as we should. Sometimes the breaks have not been going our way, but we have shown that we are getting there and hopefully this can be the start of something for us this season.”
Edinburgh dominated the opening period, despite losing Jade Portwood ten minutes in after the Canadian suffered the recurrence of a back injury, and opened the scoring with a short-handed effort at 6.01. A Michal Dobron pass beat the Flyers’ defence and left Jarolin to angle a shot from the left hand side past Fife goalie Bryan Pitton. Three minutes later, Capitals doubled their lead when, with Flyers defenceman Jeff Caister sitting in the penalty box, some sustained slick passing in the offensive zone created the space for Jarolin, again on the left hand side, to fire a first-time effort past Pitton.
In a physical encounter, referee Dean Smith handed out 40 minutes of penalties in the first period alone, culminating in Edinburgh’s Danny McIntyre and Fife’s Zac Carriveau coming to blows, which saw both sent to the sin bin for fighting at 12.38.
Latvian forward Marcis Zembergs had already made it 3-0 to the home side before the visitors began to come into the game, but any hopes of a comeback appeared dashed when Joel Gautschi and Neil Hay combined for Jordan Steel to score his second goal of the year at 36.12.
In the last 20 minutes, Fife looked a different team and pulled two goals back with a neat one-on-one move by Caisey Haines and a ripped slap-shot by Danny Stewart. But with time running out and Pitton off the ice for an extra skater, it was left to Jarolin to complete the scoring into an empty net with two minutes left.
Flyers’ player-coach Todd Dutiaume believed his side’s slow start was crucial in his team’s defeat but wished to take nothing away from the efforts of the home side. He said: “The Capitals are a very difficult club for us to play against, they play a frustrating European style which a lot of our North American guys haven’t seen before, and it took us too long to adjust. I can’t take anything away from them, they played well. These guys have been toiling lately, you could tell they wanted to win badly, and you could see at the end how much it meant to them.”