Despite an excellent display from Edinburgh Capitals’ teenage goalie Jordan McLaughlin, the Murrayfield men were defeated 4-2 at Nottingham Panthers last night.
The 17-year-old, who normally plays between the pipes for Murrayfield Under-20s, made just his second start for Capitals, deputising for Edinburgh’s Canadian import Travis Fullerton. He made 40 saves as Edinburgh, who were without five keys players through injury, illness and suspension, came close to picking up an unlikely point against Corey Neilson’s big-budget outfit.
Panthers took a two-goal first period lead through Alex Nikiforuk and Jeff Brown. Ian Schultz pulled one back for Edinburgh on the half-hour but Brad Moran restored the home side’s two-goal lead in the 40th minute.
Pavel Vorobyev scored Edinburgh’s second goal early in the third period, and with Caps pushing for an equaliser Chris Lawrence scored a last-minute goal to complete the scoring and ensure Edinburgh left the National Ice Centre empty handed.
McLaughlin, from Falkirk, who made his Capitals debut in the 6-3 home loss to Fife Flyers on Hogmanay, said: “I’ve really enjoyed both games, but playing Fife at Murrayfield there was a lot of pressure on me because we don’t like each other much and we really wanted to win. I felt less pressure last night away from home, it was easier just to focus on playing hockey and doing the best that I could.”
Asked if he’d received any feedback from team-mates on his man-of-the-match performance, McLaughlin said: “They told me I’d played really well and thanked me for giving them a chance to win. When you’re a youngster and you get a ‘thank you’ like that from all the experienced guys it’s a real confidence boost.”
Bench coach Jock Hay added: “Jordan played really well, but the whole team played well in front of him. Lapses of concentration cost us goals, and we need to cut that out.
“In the main the guys stepped up to the plate and it was stressed after the game that’s how we should be playing every night, irrespective of who is in goals.
“With important guys out we’ve actually played well our last few games. It’s important we improve our discipline and concentration, especially in our own zone, because it’s making all the difference.”
Capitals remain bottom of the table, five points outside a play-off place after Belfast Giants beat Coventry Blaze 4-1 last night.
Caps have two massive games with fellow strugglers Dundee Stars this weekend.