“Preparation was the key” according to hat-trick hero Taylor MacDougall as Edinburgh Capitals got back to winning ways with an 8-2 demolition job over Coventry Blaze at Murrayfield last night.
In what was their only game of the weekend, it was a first win in six games for Edinburgh, and the perfect tonic ahead of their Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg with Sheffield Steelers at Murrayfield on Wednesday.
Caps were two up inside ten minutes, Tyler Plews celebrated last week’s call up to the Great Britain Under-20 World Championship squad by scoring Edinburgh’s second goal, after MacDougall had opened the scoring, showing a great burst of speed to leave a flat footed Coventry defence behind and stick-handle the puck beyond Blaze goalie Brian Stewart.
MacDougall said: “The performance was all in the preparation, we adjusted a few things in practice and dialled in on a few pointers, got ourselves organised and came to the rink ready to work. We got off to a good start and were able to build off that.”
Capitals player-coach Michal Dobron mixed up the lines, with MacDougall playing alongside club top-scorer Pavel Vorobyev and Mason Wilgosh. The defensive pairings were also changed with Plews and fellow academy blue-liner Jay King given plenty of ice time.
Edinburgh used their full squad to take advantage of a very tired looking Blaze team who were playing their third game in as many nights.
MacDougall continued: “It wouldn’t have mattered, it was a big game for us regardless. That said we were aware of their schedule and when you get a good team like Coventry coming in you need to take advantage of anything you can.
“It was an important win, and we need to establish these good habits going into what is a really big week for us.”
After the fast start made by Capitals the rest of the opening period was a scrappy affair as fussy match referee Pavel Halas took over what was not a dirty game, calling 40 minutes of penalties in the first two periods alone.
As the power-play opportunities mounted for both teams Coventry eventually took advantage with the extra man to make it 2-1. Blaze forward Jordan Pietrus was first to the rebound after Edinburgh net-minder Travis Fullerton had saved a slap-shot from Josh Godfrey in the 29th minute. Stung into action, Edinburgh took the game by the scruff of the neck. MacDougall on the power-play, Matt Tipoff with a great short-handed effort, and a rocket from Yevgeni Fyodorov, also on the power-play, put the game beyond Coventry after only two periods.
Edinburgh, now rampant, were in no mood to let up, and Jared Staal was released by a measured pass from the back by Dobron and, finding himself clean through on Stewart, he blasted in Edinburgh’s sixth goal.
MacDougall completed his hat-trick in the 53rd minute, working hard to get to the front of the net and diverting a Mike D’Orazio slap-shot beyond Stewart. Recent Blaze signing Barry Almedia and Staal traded late power-play goals to complete the scoring.
The win moves Edinburgh above Coventry in the table with 11 points from 13 games, a point behind Braehead Clan in eighth, however Edinburgh hold three games in hand over the Glasgow outfit.
A delighted MacDougall concluded: “Two points is two points, and this league is so tight we’ll take them anyway we can, but anytime you can get all three lines rolling and playing with confidence is a bonus.”