Edinburgh Capitals’ utility player David Beatson admitted fatigue due to defending penalties was a factor in a late defensive collapse that caused last night’s heavy 6-3 defeat by Hull Stingrays at Murrayfield.
The Caps, whose players had been struck down by a flu bug throughout the week, were missing the suspended Riley Emmerson and Loren Barron, the injured Jordan Steel as well as Daniel Naslund.
The Gardiner Conference match was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of last night’s encounter before the hosts’ defence wilted as basic individual errors led to the visitors running away in the game’s final stages to claim their second win over the Murrayfield men in as many nights following Saturday’s 3-2 win in Hull.
The defeat was Edinburgh’s fifth game without a win and Beatson, primarily used as a forward this season, said: “Sometimes the harder you try, the worse things get. Hull are a small, fast team who like to come at you straight up and down the ice. We got sucked into playing their game instead of using the boards and keeping it wide.
“We conceded a lot of penalties early on and it takes a lot out of you, especially when you’re short. We need to be able to ice everyone we have available, but when you’re killing penalties you’re not able to play all your lines and you could see that hurt us late on with the lapses in concentration that led to Hull’s goals in the third period.”
Beatson revealed Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann was unhappy with his players, taking them to task for a disappointing weekend, before the experienced Slovakian insisted Edinburgh can turn their form around, beginning on Wednesday when Edinburgh host Fife Flyers.
“Richard’s upset,” said Beatson. “He’s very passionate and he wears his heart on his sleeve, but he also told us that he believes in us and that we have the players here to have a good season, but if we don’t play to our strengths, and play the game the way we set out to, then other teams are going to ride over the top of us.
“We need to focus on Fife on Wednesday and get a ‘W’ back on the board. We all know we can do it. Prior to this bad run, we played 11 games and only dropped three points, so we know we have the tools to do the job. Plus we’ll have Riley and Loren back in the line-up, which will be a big boost.”
In a cagey opening two periods in which true quality chances were at a premium, Edinburgh’s top scorer Rene Jarolin and Stingrays’ forward Jordan Mayer traded goals. However, a terrible pass behind his own goal by the usually reliable Lukas Bohunicky allowed Hull to take an early third period lead through Cory Tanaka, before the visitors increased their lead just 64 seconds later, Marcel Petran coughing up the puck on the Stingrays blue line, allowing Mayer to finish a perfectly executed break-out.
Edinburgh captain Jade Portwood, who missed Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Hull through illness, pulled a goal back on the power-play, only for the home team to concede a fourth through another poor defensive Edinburgh effort, Carl Lauzon the beneficiary this time.
However, within a minute Caps had pulled it back to 4-3, Greg Collins finishing off a nice passing move involving Kyle Flemington and Dennis Rix.
Unfortunately for the Caps faithful, that was as good as it got for the home side. Edinburgh goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky was hung out to dry as Stingrays put the finishing seal on the match. First, Will Frederick scored on a break-away and then the speedy Canadian Mayer completed his hat-trick to make it 6-3.