Edinburgh Capitals forward Jade Portwood admitted it was a case of the same old story at Murrayfield last night after his side were beaten 6-4 by in-form Dundee Stars. The result extended the Caps’ losing streak to 13 games in all competitions, a run Portwood could only describe as “shocking”.
He said: “Same story tonight, mental lapses cost us again. It would be nice if every team didn’t capitalise like this when we didn’t play our game, but it doesn’t seem to matter who we play, every time we have these five-minute spells we lose two or three goals, night-in night-out. In the third period we tried to battle back, but pretty much every chance they got they took advantage of and kept themselves two goals ahead.”
The continuation of Edinburgh’s horror run has overshadowed an entertaining game. Stars forward and assistant coach Nikita Kashirsky looked a class apart, helping himself to a hat-trick and the man-of –the-match award.
Hard-working Portwood, who was handed Edinburgh’s player of the month award, wanted to assure disheartened fans that the players are hurting just as much as they are. He said: “If they could come into the dressing room after the game they would see how frustrating it is for us, too. We’re trying our best; hopefully we can turn everything around. I look around and I can see how frustrated the guys are. Personally, when we get scored on I want to break my stick in half, I want to scream, but you can’t do that. You have to remain professional. The fans need to know that this run is hurting us too. That’s 13 games now, and it’s just shocking.
“I appreciate the award from the fans. I’ve been taught that if things aren’t going your way you’ve got to go out there and do something, and for me that has always been to work hard. I believe if you do that good things will happen, but when nothing comes of it, it’s very frustrating, and I admit to thinking once or twice why am I going down to block a shot here? This could hit me in the face. But I hope and believe I’m doing no more than any other guy on the team would.”
Going into the match, Dundee sat in second place in the Elite League table, while Edinburgh were rock bottom and now have only three points from 13 games. Portwood admitted that it didn’t take a psychologist to work out who were the form team last night, and that Edinburgh’s crisis of confidence played a huge part in the result.
He said: When you’re playing well you can walk into a barn and you feel like you’re going to win no matter what happens, and when you’re losing it’s the same thing only in the opposite direction. You don’t have that confidence and even when you’re ahead it surprises you.”
“They have a confidence about them, which is something you need when you’re going into a game. When they got scored on you looked over at their bench and it didn’t seem like it was a big deal to them, but when we get scored on you can see our heads go down, which is something we need to battle through.”
Edinburgh opened the scoring in the tenth minute with the first of two goals by player-coach Richard Hartmann. Stars Sam McCluskey levelled on the power-play seven minutes later.
Dundee dominated the second period and took the lead through Kashirsky, before Portwood tied the game at two apiece in the 36th minute. Within 90 seconds, Edinburgh were 4-2 down, Kashirsky and Mike Wirill doing the damage. In the third period, Edinburgh twice pulled within one through Hartmann and Curtis Leinweber, but replies by McCluskey and Kashirsky were enough to keep the Caps at bay.