Edinburgh Capitals forward Daniel Naslund admitted their third-period performance “was simply not good enough” following last night’s 5-4 defeat after penalty shots to bottom club Dundee Stars at Murrayfield.
Caps held a 3-1 lead going into the final 20 minutes, but conceded three goals in a very poor nine-minute spell and had to rely on a late goal from Rene Jarolin to force overtime and guarantee what could prove to be a vital point in ice hockey’s Elite League.
“We’ll be looking back at this and be pretty disappointed,” said Naslund. “Going into the final period with a two-goal lead and home advantage, we would have expected to be able to close it out.
“We had a ten-minute spell at the beginning of the third where the play from everyone was just not good enough. We put ourselves in a great position to take two points, but then we dropped the ball.”
After a disastrous start for the home side, Dundee scoring after only nine seconds through Chris Blight, Caps looked lost for the opening ten minutes. They were lucky to draw level on the power-play, player-coach Hartmann firing home after a shot from the point by Loren Barron inadvertently deflected off Jarolin into his path.
From that point until then end of the second period, led by the Jarolin, Richard Hartmann and Naslund line, Edinburgh were the better side and through a second goal from Hartmann and a textbook Jarolin snipe, deserved their 3-1 lead.
Caps looked like recording their fifth straight win of the season over their Tayside rivals. However, Naslund refuted any idea that Edinburgh showed complacency in the third period.
Naslund countered: “We were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We had been getting pucks deep and doing all the little things right, but then we got away from all of that and that’s when we got punished.
“It wasn’t a case of thinking our work was done. If anything, we were too cautious in trying to protect our lead. We should have kept our foot on the gas and kept doing what we had been doing in turning the game around.”
Dundee’s fightback was fuelled by a 43rd-minute slap-shot from just inside the blue line by Stars’ player-coach Jeff Hutchins.
The ex-Capitals forward, said: “We controlled the first ten minutes; our problem was we let them back into the game.
“It’s all about confidence with us. Before our second goal the heads were down but, after that, I felt we dominated the game again. We need to learn how to put complete 60 minutes together rather than just good periods within a game.”
Dundee added their third goal less than three minutes later, another former Capital, Bari Mckenzie, scoring on the power-play, before John Dolan put Stars 4-3 ahead with nine minutes left.
After falling behind, Edinburgh began to create chances again and Jarolin restored parity in the 55th minute. Showing great strength to cut in from the right, holding off the attentions of a Dundee defenceman, he switched from backhand to forehand before firing low past Stars’ goalie Marc Cheverie.
Edinburgh did well to kill off a late penalty to Greg Collins and, with no goals in an exciting five-minute overtime period, it was left to Stars’ recent signing Sean Ringrose to score the only goal of the shoot-out and win the extra point for the visitors.