Icve Hockey: Capitals return to form as they give Devils the elbow

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EDINBURGH CAPITALS defenceman Danny McIntyre revealed today how the players’ anger following a toothless display away to Fife Flyers on Saturday night fuelled the fire for his team’s most complete performance of the season to date.

Caps broke a four-game losing run with a 4-2 Elite League victory over Cardiff Devils at Murrayfield last night, an empty-net strike by Rene Jarolin with 26 seconds remaining sealing their first win against the Devils in over two years.

McIntyre said: “That was a huge win, especially after Saturday in Fife, where we played well below par (in a 2-1 defeat). We were all very frustrated after that performance and we took it out on them, especially in the first period. Cardiff are a big, strong team, but at times we were the more physical tonight. It worked wonders for us and got us the win.”

Whatever the catalyst behind Edinburgh’s return to form, player-coach Richard Hartmann will wish it could be bottled, as at times Capitals looked a different team to the side that currently sit bottom of the League standings, four points outside a coveted play-off spot.

McIntyre continued: “We’re going to have to play like that game in, game out. We pass the puck around better than most teams but sometimes we’re too one-dimensional. At times you just need to grind it out. Tonight we passed the puck well, and we were physical”

Home side man-of-the-match honours went to goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky who turned in his second fine display of the weekend.

Hiadlovsky, who joined the club from Slovakian outfit HK Dukla Trencin in the summer, said: “Everyone played great tonight. It was an important win for us. Cardiff has a lot of good, strong players and we’ve lost a lot of games recently. We’re all looking forward to taking this form into the rest of the year.

“I came here to be a starting goalie, and I’m thankful for this opportunity. Everyone from the management to the fans has been great with me.”

Edinburgh got off to a fast start, scoring twice in the first five minutes, through Hartmann on the power-play, before Cardiff net-minder Phil Osaer thwarted Jarolin after he had bested the Devils defence, only for club captain Martin Cingel to be first to the rebound and lift the puck over the stranded goalie at 4.58.

Capitals forward Marcis Zembergs fizzed a shot against the post before Cardiff came into the game, but could not find a way past a resolute home defence, embodied by the performance of Michal Benadik who had his best game in a Capitals shirt, highlighted by a big hit on Cardiff’s NHL forward Paul Bissonette, stopping him in his tracks before he could unload a shot on goal.

The Pheonix Coyotes power-house, who only arrived in the UK on Friday, did eventually bring the visitors back into the game, firing a high wrist-shot past Hiadlovsky the 32nd minute.

In the final 20 minutes Jarolin, with his first of the night, traded power-play goals with Devils Canadian forward Chris Blight, setting up an exciting finale before Jarolin’s last-minute goal ensured the points for the home side.

Disappointed Devils forward Bari McKenzie, who played two years in Edinburgh before signing for the ambitious Welsh outfit this season, said: “Edinburgh came out strong and played very well.

“From our point of view, the level of performance wasn’t good enough, and it’s disappointing for me to come back here and lose.

“Cardiff’s a great organisation; everything is top-notch and very professional. We have a very good team who should be in a position to win every game. It’s a different type of pressure from playing in Edinburgh, but it’s all been very enjoyable.”