Hockey: Capitals hand the gloves to Slovak starlet

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EDINBURGH Capitals today gave young Slovakian ice hockey goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky the gloves as starting net-minder when the new Elite League season gets underway next month.

Player-coach Richard Hartmann was keen to snap up the stopper after he received a hot tip from his elder brother Eduard who is a former Slovakian Olympic goaltender.

Hartmann said: “My brother used to be Tomas’ coach when he played in the juniors and says he’s a great kid, a really good goalie. He’s played with the Slovakian national team at U-18 and U-20 level and we’re really happy to have him. Eduard knows much more about goalies than I do, I trust him, and I know with his recommendation we are getting a solid goaltender.”

Hiadlovsky has spent his entire career with top Slovakian outfit HK Dukla Trenkin where he made over 70 senior appearances, including eight play-off games.

Hartmann continued: “I believe he has all the tools to succeed in the Elite League. He wants the ice-time and the games; he’s desperate to make a big impact on the league and the Capitals fans.”

Caps have also secured a back-up for Hiadlovsky, Craig Holland who is 19 and has re-signed with the club for the fourth year. Holland said: “I learned a lot with Richard last year and I can’t wait to get back on the ice.”

Hiadlovsky and Holland are the the ninth and tenth players signed by Capitals this season and team co-owner Scott Neil says further signings are 

“We spent a lot of time looking at goalies and their resumes, but on talking to Richard and his brother I feel we’ve got a really good kid here, with great potential, who has all ready had three years’ experience of playing in the Slovak Extraliga.

“We’re closing in on another Eduard Hartmann recommendation, and we have a power-forward from North America who is waiting for his visa application to clear, but we are prepared to wait it out before we sign a couple of our more fancied players.”

The Caps meanwhile will take part in the first Scottish Autumn Cup. Hosted by the Fife Flyers the tournament take places September 1 and 2 and involves all four Scottish Elite League clubs, one week before the season opens on September 8.