Edinburgh Capitals pay penalty for teamsheet blunder

Curtis Leinweber is sent flying in Edinburgh's superb win over league leaders Belfast Giants. The Caps, however, couldn't follow it up with victory at Dundee last night. Picture: Jan Orkisz
Curtis Leinweber is sent flying in Edinburgh's superb win over league leaders Belfast Giants. The Caps, however, couldn't follow it up with victory at Dundee last night. Picture: Jan Orkisz
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EDINBURGH CAPITALS were today counting the cost of an administrative blunder as they crashed 4-2 at Dundee Stars in ice hockey’s Elite League.

With Caps leading 1-0 in the closing seconds of the first period last night, influential defenceman Michal Dobron received a two-minute penalty for slashing, a minor infraction that eventually led to him being ejected from the game when officials noticed his name wasn’t on the game sheet.

Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann explained: “Dobron was given a penalty, and we were sitting in the locker room getting ready for the second period when the referee came in and told us his name was not in the line-up, and he would have to leave the game.”

“It was a big mistake as he’s an important part of our defence. We only play four “D” and it meant we had to make a change and put a forward back there and that had a huge impact on the game. We battled hard but conceded a second goal right before the end of the second period, which was the key moment of the game. I’m a little unhappy about what happened but the boys put a lot of work in over our two games this weekend and I’m proud of them.”

Elite League rules stipulate that the teamsheet for both sides is written out by an off-ice official from the home team but must be checked and signed for prior to face-off by a member of the coaching staff. Capitals bench-coach, Jock Hay, took full responsibility for the error and said: “I hold my hands up. This is my fault. It’s my job to check and sign for the teamsheet and I signed it without checking, which is very frustrating as usually I always take time to make sure everything adds up.”

The opening period featured plenty of chances at either end and, buoyed by Saturday’s excellent 5-3 victory over league leaders Belfast Giants, Edinburgh took the lead in the fourth minute when Tomas Horna scored from close range.

After the first period interval, Dobron took a seat in the stands and looked on as Dundee equalised at 26.53.

Impressive Canadian defenceman Rory Rawlyk showed great strength on the puck, holding off challenges and circling the net on two occasions, before centring for Stars man of the match Jerry Pollastrone to score. In the dying seconds of the period, Nico Sacchetti burst through the middle of the Caps defence to give the Stars the lead at 39.37.

It was a lead the home side would not relinquish; Sacchetti had already scored his second of the game before, with Edinburgh goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky pulled for the extra skater, Pollastrone made it 4-1 with an empty net goal. Capitals forward Marc Fowley completed the scoring with his first-ever goal for the club, redirecting a Peter Holecko shot at 59.43.

Despite the loss, Hiadlovsky was in great form between the pipes, stopping 33 of 36 shots and picking up Edinburgh’s man of the match award.

Reflecting on the weekend, with Edinburgh still bottom of the table on seven points from 16 games, Hiadlovsky said: “We’ve now started winning our home games. We’ve had two good wins against probably two of the best teams in the league in Nottingham and Belfast and I think we can only get better, but we need to start winning games in our Conference. We’re behind at the moment, but we still have something like 40 games ahead of us. There is still time to fix what has been a bad start for us.”

In a David and Goliath contest at Murrayfield on Saturday, with the game tied at 3-3 going into the final ten minutes, a Richard Hartmann double was enough to topple the Belfast Giants. Earlier, Jade Portwood, Tomas Horna and Peter Holecko were on target for the home side while Evan Chevarie scored a hat-trick for the visitors.