Giant steps are what Capitals will need in Cardiff

Dylan Anderson has been one of the success stories for Capitals this season. Pic: Ian Coyle
Dylan Anderson has been one of the success stories for Capitals this season. Pic: Ian Coyle
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It’s only been three weeks since Edinburgh Capitals stunned the rest of the Elite League with their 4-2 win at Belfast Giants, but forward Dylan Anderson reckons his team can conjure the same spirit when they head to Cardiff Devils on Saturday.

The current league leaders are back in action after losing 6-3 in last week’s Challenge Cup Final to the Giants and will no doubt look to get back to winning ways as they close on in what would be a second consecutive title.

But that doesn’t prevent Anderson from believing his team can surprise ice hockey fans all over the country if he and his team-mates play to the way they’re set up by interim coaches Jock Hay and Mike D’Orazio.

“We beat Belfast away from home a few weeks ago and that was a big game for us. We played with only 12 or 14 guys and we were able to keep a tight structure. The result was big for everybody and everyone has that in the back of their mind that we can do it,” he said.

“You never really know when we can produce that, but again, we have to keep things tight because we can’t run around like most other teams because of our lack of numbers. I think everyone knows we can do it and hopefully we can have one of those games again.

“After their loss last week, we hope we’re not the team Cardiff take their Challenge Cup frustration out on, but we want to play the best game we can and stick to our structure. All we can do is keep playing.”

The Devils are top of the table, eight points clear of nearest challengers Manchester Storm and require seven points to clinch another title, and with last week’s disappointment still fresh in the memory, they’ll channel their efforts into finishing the job.

Capitals, under previous coach Dmitiri Khristich, last made their way to South Wales in mid-November and saw Andrew Lord’s side win 7-2, with Marek Tvrdon on the scoresheet on both occasions.

But the previous meeting at Murrayfield three weeks ago saw Cardiff leave with a 10-2 victory, but more disappointing for the Caps was the loss of netminder Tyler Beskorowany, who continues to miss out through injury. Also on the casualty list is Callum Boyd, who will also be absent this weekend as Edinburgh play host to Fife Flyers as they meet again on Sunday just five days after the Caps crossed the Forth and returned on the back of a 6-1 loss.

Peter LeBlanc’s hat-trick put the Capitals to the sword despite Fife missing four key players on a night where they ended a three-game losing run; but maintained their 100 per cent record over Edinburgh with nine wins out of nine.

It’s the final meeting of the season between them and, with Fife already proudly boasting the Gardiner Conference trophy, they’re still aiming for their highest-ever Elite League finish while the 
Capitals have a quick chance to get some revenge.

Anderson gave a brief reflection of the game in midweek, rearranged after the chaos caused by the ‘Beast from the East’ weather front and reckons the scoreline could have been a lot closer.

He added: “Fife seemed to have our number this year although we seem to play better at home than on the road. We didn’t have our best performance there on Tuesday and I felt we could have kept that game closer.

“Looking back at the two games this week against both Fife and Braehead, we’ve been carrying injuries and playing shorthanded for the last month or so. We’re depleted and everyone knows that, but it’s important we stick together and play the best we can.

“If you’re not working hard, you have to ask yourself why you’re out there. You can’t keep looking at the scoreboard and I remain hopeful we can squeak out a couple of wins before the end of the season.

“We have only six games left and with only pride to play for, we have to just take each game as a new chance to get something. I hope we can do that this weekend and maybe we can find a way to get a win.”