Capitals 2, Clan 10: All the good work is tossed away

Trevor Gerling (in foreground) scored to prompt the Teddy Toss, but Capitals fell apart in the second period. Picture: Jan Orkisz
Trevor Gerling (in foreground) scored to prompt the Teddy Toss, but Capitals fell apart in the second period. Picture: Jan Orkisz
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Edinburgh Capitals’ first ever “teddy toss” in aid of Forth One’s cash for kids appeal was the only highlight at Murrayfield last night.

The toss, organised by the Capitals Supporters’ Club, was a great success with stuffed toys raining down on the ice after Trevor Gerling opened the scoring for the home side in just seven minutes. Club members will be donating the toys at the Cash for Kids Gyle HQ today.

It was all downhill after that, however, as a ruthless Clan royally stuffed their opponents, winning 10-2 with Chris Bruton and Scott Pitt scoring three goals apiece.

It was a severely substandard performance from an Edinburgh side that had looked unbeatable at home just a few weeks ago, and one that quickly became unbearable for Caps player-coach Riley Emmerson.

“We’re not identifying dangers, we’re not working hard, it’s the same thing over and over again. We were prepared for how Braehead would play, but things are not getting through to the players. It’s unacceptable,” he said.

“That’s two of the last three games at home that we’ve given up double digits, its embarrassing, there are no excuses for this. Our experienced players need to step up, we have too many good players who are not playing a full rounded game. They’re only worried about one thing and that’s offence, offence, offence, and our young defencmen need to relish the ice-time they’re getting.

“We have guys on good money here, but they better smarten up. I don’t know what (club owner) Scott Neil thinks about it, but we could get guys in a lot cheaper who come ready to play.”

Caps could feel perhaps hard done by to trail 3-1 at the end of the opening period, in which chances were even, Clan scoring three breakaway goals through Bruton, Pitt and Stefan Meyer.

However, it was evident that despite being very much still in the game after 20 minutes, the home players were beginning to let their heads drop, and when some quick thinking from Clan goalie Chris Holt set Matt Keith away down the left, his centring pass was poked home by Bruton less than two minutes into the second period.

Emmerson continued: “I said that at the end of the first period, let’s not hang our heads, we’re playing a good team here and they’ll take whatever we give them, but we did let our heads go down and it was just turnover, turnover, turnover, resulting in goal, goal, goal.

“We need to work from our own end and no-one is doing it. It’s going to be a tough week here in practice and the players are not going to be happy. But that’s how professional hockey is, you’ve got to be held accountable – myself included.”

Clan scored further second-period goals, all made easy by a lack of desire from the home side to defend with Thomas Nesbitt, Pitt and Brendan Brooks netting. Jacob Johnston pulled one back for Edinburgh in the 40th minute to leave the score at the break 8-2.

Clan rested Holt for the third period, bringing in back-up goalie Gary Russell who dealt comfortably with the seven shots he faced. It was a game that should have petered out into nothing, but after Bruton had already scored Clan’s ninth goal, a frustrated Capitals team lost their discipline completely with Emmerson, Kyle Flemington and top-scorer Ryan Hayes being given game misconduct penalties for fighting.

Pitt completed the scoring late on, beating Caps’ back-up goalie Kevin Forshall who had replaced Carsen Chubak for the game’s final ten minutes.

Emmerson concluded: “We need to have a reality check and look at ourselves in the mirror. Guys on this team have played at a high level, they know what they need to do to turn this ship around. We’re a way better team than we’ve shown recently and everybody knows it.”