A blistering four-goal second period from Edinburgh Capitals paved the way for a 5-3 victory over Hull Stingrays in front of over 1600 fans at Murrayfield last night, a passage of play player-coach Richard Hartmann described as “perfect hockey.”
Indeed the final scoreline flattered the visitors, who took advantage of some late indiscipline from the home side to score three power-play goals in the game’s final minute. It was all too much for Capitals’ goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky who, after coming so close to his first shut-out for the club, was ejected from the game on a misconduct penalty.
Hartmann said: “The guys are playing perfect hockey right now. We controlled the pace of the game which is very important for us. When we were put under pressure we held onto the puck well and made the right play at the right time. We scored some nice goals, and it was a great performance from the boys.
“We all played to our system which makes it easier for us to make those pretty passes and plays. That’s what we’re working towards. We want to have fun out there and show the fans that we’re good hockey players, to play like that and get the win in front of a big crowd is especially pleasing and I hope they come back and keep supporting us.
“From a coaching perspective, I’m disappointed in how we finished. We had controlled the whole game but in the last five minutes it was if someone had flicked a switch and everything went wrong. Hyadlo (Hiadlovsky) could have had a shut-out but we took some stupid penalties and we didn’t help him like we should have done.
“Hull were on their knees and we gave them a helping hand back up again, that’s something we cannot afford to do, and we will need to watch out for that in future.”
After a goalless first period, Jade Portwood opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, driving to the net and finishing after being set up by Marcis Zembergs.
Hartmann had already doubled Edinburgh’s advantage scoring from close range at 33.52, before three minutes later he received a great cross-ice pass from Jan Safar which sucked in Stingrays GB Internationalist goalie Ben Bowns, the experienced Slovakian, who won the man-of-the-match award, then fizzed a quick no-look pass back across goal which was fired into the empty net by Curtis Leinweber for his tenth goal of the season. Less than a minute later Martin Cingel scored Edinburgh’s fourth, assisted by Michal Dobron.
Hartmann rounded off the scoring for the Caps with a power-play goal early in the third period. The win was Edinburgh’s third straight at Murrayfield, and the side looked a different proposition to the team that had lost their opening ten home games of the season.
Hartman concluded: “The guys are starting to realise that the system we play works. They have belief in themselves and belief in their team-mates. Earlier in the season if we conceded a goal we would lose our heads and get away from the game-plan, now they understand that whatever happens in a game we have the power to change it.”
Stingrays rallied in the game’s final 70 seconds, scoring three power-play-goals all with a two-man advantage, through a double from Guillaume Doucet and a Jason Silverthorn marker that was dispatched past reserve goalie Craig Holland, who replaced Hiadlovsky after he was ejected for trying to break his stick in two after Hull’s second goal. Prior to that Hiadlovsky had made 29 saves including stopping a penalty shot from Stingrays star Jereme Tendler, and Leinweber revealed the players were gutted that Hiadlovsky missed out on the shut-out.
“We were all fighting for it. You never mention that word on the bench but we were all thinking it. It was just unfortunate we took those penalties when we did. If you give the Stingrays five-on-three opportunities they’re going to take advantage of it. We didn’t help him out and we all owned up to that in the locker room and let him know we were upset for him. The next time he’s in that position we’ll try to do more for him.”