Edinburgh Capitals run out of steam against Devils

Despite a bright start Edinburgh Capitals were beaten 5-3 by Cardiff Devils at Murrayfield last night. Three goals conceded in just two minutes late in the second period proved their undoing.

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 5:30 am
Edinburgh Capitals captain Mike Cazzola opens the scoring at Murrayfield last night. Pic Ian Coyle
Edinburgh Capitals captain Mike Cazzola opens the scoring at Murrayfield last night. Pic Ian Coyle

The home side got off to the perfect start by scoring after only 24 seconds as nice tic-tac-toe passing play in the Devils zone, involving Dylan Anderson, Pavel Vorobyev and Mike Cazzola, saw the latter fire beyond helpless Devils goalie Ben Bowns.

Edinburgh then did well to kill off a Cazzola tripping penalty called in the third minute, goalie Pavel Shegalo with an excellent sliding post-to-post save to stop Paul Crowder from point blank-range. It was the only power-play called all night by referee Neil Wilson.

In an end-to-end period, the visitors edged the shots on goal count 13 to 11. And Edinburgh doubled their lead in the 11th minute through Igor Valeyev’s powerful wrist shot after Sergei Banashkov won a battle for the puck deep in the Devils zone.

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Cardiff dominated the middle period and within five minutes of the restart had pulled a goal back, a lovely move cutting in from the point by Matt Pope, undressing a Capitals player before firing a shot into the top right hand corner.

Caps were out-shot 13 to five in the middle frame as the visitors really asserted themselves, and the home team would soon rue a great chance missed by Cazzola in the 32nd minute. The Canadian had an empty net in front of him but couldn’t get his stick to a centring pass from Anderson.

With the Devils dominating, Caps could ill-afford to give away a cheap goal but they did just that after Valeyev showed strength to win the puck in the Capitals zone but coughed it straight back-up with a risky no-look-pass down the middle of the ice, a shot form Pope taking a deflection beyond Shegalo at 33 minutes and 34 seconds tying the game at 2-2.

Soft goals often prove to be the catalyst for a collapse, and so it proved with Devils going 3-2 in front 35 seconds later, Patrick Assalin with a simple finish after collecting a sharp cross-ice pass from the point by Andrew Hotham, before another deflected effort, this time from Justin Faryna, made it 4-2 just more than two minutes after Devils had brought the game back to all-square.

A Callum Boyd break-away goal was just the tonic the home side needed early in the third, but momentum was lost two minutes later as Drew Paris blasted a shot beyond Shegalo to restore the two-goal cushion with 15 minutes remaining.