Battling Edinburgh Capitals kept at bay by Braehead Clan

Edinburgh Capitals were felled 3-1 by Braehead Clan in an entertaining game at Murrayfield last night.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 5:30 am
Capitals' Sergei Banashkov tries to tuck the puck past Ryan Niw. Pic: Ian Coylr

The visitors clinched the points with an empty-net goal with 80 seconds to play from Brendan Brooks. Despite the loss, it was a hard-fought effort from Edinburgh just 24-hours after their 10-1 capitulation at Fife Flyers.

Both net-minders were tested in the opening minute, Caps’ Jordan McLaughlin – in for dropped regular starter Pavel Shegalo – gloved a Tyler Schofield effort, whilst Clan’s Ryan Nie kicked away a long-range rasper from Dylan Anderson.

Clan asserted themselves, thanks in the main to a double minor called on Pavel Vorobyev for accidental high sticks in the fourth minute. McLaughlin was immediately called into action and made an excellent stop to deny GB internationalist Craig Peacock, one of several top saves made by the 18-year old.

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Tyler Shattock was the first Clan player to fall foul of match referee Neil Wilson after he clattered Denis Trakhanov into the boards, but the infraction didn’t knock Clan off their stride as Brooks gave them the lead short-handed, with a shot from the top of the right circle.

Parity was restored inside ten minutes through Capitals’ top scorer Mike Cazzola, who bulleted home a lovely pass from behind the net by Anderson.

Both teams each had a further power-play opportunity as Anderson and Schofield visited the sin-bin, but the first period ended one apiece.

Clan again enjoyed the lion’s share of the play in the middle frame, Capitals working hard to keep them to the outside, none more so than Anderson who took a sore one blocking an Adam Brace slap-shot in the 23rd minute but returned to the ice soon after. The pressure was lifted momentarily on Edinburgh as they went on the power-play in the 33rd minute, Konstantin Teslyukevich stealing in from the blue-line and forcing a good save from Nie.

Edinburgh did well to kill a Clan power-play when Teslyukevich took a good penalty to put off Brace when clean through, but the visitors took the lead soon after the man-advantage expired, Bari Mckenzie deflecting Michal Gutwald’s slap-pass at 38 minutes and 31 seconds.

Capitals’ man of the match Nikita Kolesnikovs rang a slap-shot off the post early in the third period, whilst at the other end McLaughlin survived two goalmouth scrambles inside a minute.

Edinburgh killed off a two-many-men penalty and won a power-play of their own when, with just under four minutes left, Nie fired the puck out of play from behind his own goal. A frantic finish ensued, Clan holding firm before Brooks lifted the pressure with his second goal of the game.