Teen star King grabs first goal but Capitals lose out

Richard Hartmann scores to level at 2-2. While, below, Jade Portwood is in collision with Hull's netminder. Pics: Jan Orkisz
Richard Hartmann scores to level at 2-2. While, below, Jade Portwood is in collision with Hull's netminder. Pics: Jan Orkisz
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JAY KING didn’t expect the puck when he received it, but admits he just want to get rid of it before it found its way into Hull Stingrays’ net for his first-ever Elite League goal for Edinburgh Capitals last night.

The 17-year-old has been a peripheral figure for Capitals’ top team and is more used to scoring in the SNL, where he is much more established as well as more prolific.

But finding a way past Hull Stingrays’ hugely improved netminder Ben Bowns gave him cause to have a smile as wide as the Forth, even if the team were edged out 4-3 on penalty shots in overtime at Murrayfield after drawing 3-3 thanks to the aforementioned Bowns. The Caps picked up one point for the OT defeat.

King said: “It was really good to get that first goal. I found myself in the middle of the Hull offensive zone and when the puck came to me, I wasn’t expecting it and just wanted to get rid. There was some luck there when the goalie couldn’t hold it, but it’s amazing when they can’t see it and in this case, it just happened to go in.

“I didn’t expect to get my first goal, but now I want my second and as many as I can get.”

Player-coach Richard Hartmann, while delighted for King, quickly reminded him that the journey has only just begun.

“I’m happy for Jay and he’s making his first steps in the top league. The work doesn’t end there and he has to keep going. It’s too early to say whether he can have a big future in ice hockey as a lot can happen. He’s only 17 and has lots to learn at this stage of his career.”

Matty Davies found the net first for Hull early on as they looked to build on Saturday’s penalty shots win over Braehead Clan, but King’s shot crept away from Bowns in the Stingrays net and the Caps were level.

Jason Silverthorn added Hull’s second late in the first period and it took until early in the third for Hartmann to put the Caps back on level terms. Hull’s Guillaume Doucet scored his 34th goal of the season in 53:48 but Peter Holecko replied with 79 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime then penalty shots.

The players were on to their third round of penalties when Carl Lauzon cleverly chipped Tomas Hiadlovsky to give Stingrays the advantage, and with Bowns denying Michal Dobron, it meant a second penalty shots win on the road in two days for Sylvain Cloutier’s side.

It compounded a disappointing weekend overall for the Caps coach, who was dealt a blow on Saturday with the news that Tomas Horna returned to the Czech Republic after his father was involved in a serious car accident. One point for the weekend wasn’t enough for Hartmann as this followed a 5-2 loss to Elite League champions Nottingham Panthers on Saturday night.

Jonathan Boxill had opened the scoring for the Panthers early in the first period, before Hartmann levelled for the Caps in the second. Parity didn’t last long as new Nottingham signing Greg Jacina scored twice then Matt Ryan scored one to give them a steady lead.

While Martin Cingel pulled another back for Capitals, David Clarke finished off Panthers’ fifth to complete a routine win for Corey Neilson’s side. Hartmann took no consolation from the weekend and reckoned his players weren’t clever enough in their finishing. “The effort was there, but I don’t think we used our heads and there were times where we should have been smarter.

“Penalty shots are all about luck and they took their chance and we didn’t. Overall, one point isn’t good enough for us in this situation when you look at things.

“We were missing two guys, which I don’t have replacements for, but I felt we should have been better.”