Edinburgh Capitals, with doubles for man of-the-match Taylor Dickin and top-scorer Ryan Hayes, kept up their impressive recent home form with a 5-4 win over Manchester Storm last night.
It’s now three straight wins at Murrayfield for Riley Emmerson’s men, and victory ensured revenge was swift after Manchester needed penalty-shots to pip Edinburgh 3-2 in England just 24 hours earlier.
It was another good weekend showing for the ever-improving club, picking up three Elite League points for their efforts, however in-discipline continues to be the Caps’ Achilles’ heel.
Defenceman Kyle Bigos did not ice after an incident on Saturday in Manchester in which he received an automatic one-match ban, and fellow defenceman Kyle Flemington was thrown out last night late in the first period for ‘Third Man In’, after a bout of fisticuffs that also saw Storm players David Phillips and Patrik Valkac sent to the penalty box.
Both Bigos and Flemington could face further punishment and await the decision of a Department of Player Safety review ahead of Edinburgh’s next match away to Sheffield Steelers on Wednesday.
Storm started the game in a bright fashion and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring in the sixth minute.
Edinburgh looked to be doing a good job of killing a Jay King tripping penalty when, out of nothing, a three-man Edinburgh back-check all converged on centre ice, allowing Matt Caria acres of room down the left to play in Luke Salazar, who roofed a high finish above a stranded Carsen Chubak in the Capitals net.
The goal seemed to bring a sluggish home side to life. Storm netminder Zane Kalemba pulled out a great pad save to deny Paul Zanette, however, he could do nothing minutes later after the hard-working Dickin was first to a loose puck after he had saved an initial effort from Hayes.
The game exploded 18 minutes in when Phillips took exception to a solid hit behind the Storm goal by Edinburgh forward Trevor Gerling, and was prevented from seeking full retribution by Flemington.
However, it was referee Toby Craig who had the final say, giving Flemington his marching orders and calling time on the period 80 seconds early.
The home side got their noses in front in the 22nd minute when David Rutherford, with a cool back-hand finish after some aggressive Edinburgh fore-checking, which was very impressive throughout, led to a turn-over in the Manchester zone. It was 3-1 seven minutes later, again Manchester were worked off the puck in their own zone resulting in a goalmouth scramble, Hayes remaining calm to fire home from close range.
With Bigos and now Flemington out, it was no surprise to see Edinburgh have some shaky moments defensively and Storm regained parity as quickly as they’d lost it.
Salazar, with his second power-play goal of the night in the 31st minute, was followed by an expertly executed Storm break-away, Valcak the scorer four minutes later.
The visitors looked like they’d done enough to finish the second period level at 3-3, however the excellent Dickin again won possession of the puck in a dangerous area and was hauled down before he could shoot, winning the Caps a penalty shot, expertly converted by Hayes.
Dickin scored Edinburgh’s fifth on the power-play with eight minutes remaining, once more proving quickest to react after an initial blue-line shot from Nate Fleming had been saved.
Valcak, with his second goal of the game, brought Storm back to within one with five minutes remaining, but the home side, in a frantic finish, held their composure to pick up the win.