Capitals count cost of England road trip

No return: Jade Portwood
No return: Jade Portwood
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Following Edinburgh Capitals’ 5-2 defeat at Manchester Storm on Saturday, team co-owner Scott Neil has expressed the club’s disappointment at collecting just one point from the six on offer in last week’s English road trip.

And he also revealed former captain Jade Portwood came close to a return to Murrayfield as Edinburgh step up their hunt for Everett Sheen’s replacement after he quit left the club last month.

The Manchester loss was Edinburgh’s third in four nights south of the border, following a 4-2 defeat by Coventry Blaze and coming up just short in a 4-3 overtime reverse in Nottingham. Capitals could not recreate their excellent home form, where they have won their last five games, and Neil, who accompanied the team on the trip, said: “It’s disappointing to come back with one point because after the point for the regulation time draw in Nottingham we were hopeful of maybe three or four.

“The games were all very close, if anything we played with too much confidence and abandon. We need to make sure we’re always focused on our back-end and not take defensive risks. We’ve got to remain patient and appreciate we will get chances.

“It’s so important to help out the guys at the back and make sure we don’t give up easy scoring opportunities.

“On Saturday we gave up way too many two on one breakaway’s. Manchester have some skilled players and if you give them chances like that they’ll put the puck in the net.”

Saturday night’s statistics certainly add weight to Neil’s summations. An end-to-end affair where Capitals’ goalie Carsen Chubak and Storm counterpart Zane Kalemba faced a staggering 94 shots between them.

Manchester, through Matt Caria and Paul Phillips, opened up a two-goal lead after 20 minutes, before Taylor 
Dickin pulled one back for the visitors with the only goal of the second period. Storm’s Matthew Sisca and Capitals defecneman Jacob Johnston traded goals just 30 seconds apart to keep it a one-goal-game for the majority of the third period before late second goals for both Sisca and Caria, who scored into an empty net, won Storm the points snapping a four-game losing streak for the home side.

Neil continued: “We’ve got a week now to try and get guys healthy. Hopefully David Rutherford will be fit to play this weekend, but we need to wait and see.

“We’re definitely missing a Sheen replacement and now that we’re back from this trip it gives us more time to concentrate on that and get the right guy in as soon as possible.

“Initially we tried to get Jade Portwood back, we were hopeful of that happening but Jade decided to stay in Canada as he tries to get into the police force, and we’ve been close to securing one or two others but it’s just not come off yet.

“There have been a few approaches from players to us as well, but we’re trying to be selective as there is still a long season ahead.”

Meanwhile, teenage Capitals’ defenceman Jay King is in Nottingham ahead of tomorrow’s Great Britain Under-20s’ two-day training camp which includes a match against the NIHL’s Nottingham Lions in preparation for their participation in division 1B of the U20 World Championships to be held in France next month.

GB head coach Tom Watkins, said: “This is by no means our finished squad for the World Championship. There are players playing abroad and every place is still up for grabs. What this game will do, however, is give the coaching staff a good chance to see players in match action.”

n Capitals SNL defeated Solway Sharks 7-3 last night. Edinburgh are top of the table having won all of their six matches.