Player-coach Riley Emmerson admitted to being “heartbroken” as Edinburgh Capitals lost 5-4 to Fife Flyers after penalty-shots in a thrilling Forth derby at Murrayfield last night.
Caps looked to have broken their now 14 game winless streak leading 4-3 with less than two minutes to play, but Shane Stockton equalised for the visitors, completing his hat-trick after Matt Delahey’s initial effort was blocked. A goalless five minute overtime period ensued, before Ryan Dingle and Justin Fox scored in the shoot-out to win Flyers the extra point.
Fife’s win keeps them on course for the Gardiner conference title and Emmerson said: “They have been red-hot. We raised our game and played with a lot of energy and passion. To lose a goal with less than two minutes to go was a real heartbreaker.
“We talked beforehand about how much a win over our biggest rivals would mean to both us and our fans. That was our game, we deserved it, but one big mistake cost us and that’s been our story all year.
“We’ll keep this level of performance up for the last six games of the season, but this was the one we really wanted and it hurts.”
Flyers were dominant in the game’s early stages and raced to a 2–0 lead through Stockton and Jeff Lee, but Caps turned the game on it’s head with three goals in eight minutes.
Taylor Dickin halved the deficit with a quick turn and shot, and Capitals equalised with a fine individual goal from Trevor Gerling who weaved his way past two Flyers players and fired a high shot past Fife goalie David Brown.
Things got even better for the home side when Ned Lucacevic scored against his old club in the final seconds of the first period, stunning the large travelling support who roundly booed him all night, and giving Caps a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.
Some slack defence just four minutes into the second period allowed Michael Dorr all the time in the world to fire a pass over to the equally unmarked Stockton to tie the game at three each.
Both clubs gave no inch in a physical battle, but Edinburgh lost key defenceman Kyle Bigos to a knee injury after a collision with a Fife player on the boards behind the Edinburgh net. The big American, helped from the ice by his team-mates, was in obvious pain.
Fife enjoyed the majority of the chances late on, but Edinburgh did well defensively, keeping Flyers in the main to long distance efforts. RJay Berra scored his first goal for the club after Brown had saved an initial Garett Milan breakaway to give Edinburgh a 4-3 lead which they held until Stockton’s late heroics.