Jared Staal and Pavel Vorobyev help Caps keep up winning streak

Capitals Jared Staal slips the puck past Manchester's Mike Clemente for the first goal. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
Capitals Jared Staal slips the puck past Manchester's Mike Clemente for the first goal. Picture: Jan Orkisz/SMP
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A double from Jared Staal and a shoot-out winner from experienced Russian forward Pavel Vorobyev was enough to see Edinburgh Capitals open up their Elite League campaign with a 3-2 win (after penalty shots) over Manchester Storm.

The victory at Murrayfield last night stretched their winning streak to four games in all competitions.

Coupled with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy in the Challenge Cup, their first win at Fife Ice Area in nearly three years, Capitals bench coach Jock Hay hailed what he described as “another exceptional result”.

Caps’ missing player-coach Michal Dobron, and forward trio Ian Schultz, Garrett Milan and Karel Hromas, are quickly making their a name for themselves as a never-say-die-outfit after their second come-from-behind win of the weekend.

Hay said: “We’ve played five games in nine days, the guys were tiring out there at the end, so to come from behind again like we did is another exceptional result from us.”

Caps scored the opening goal early in the second period, when Staal capitalised on a Storm defensive mistake to break clean through on Manchester goalie Mike Clemente, showing a pair of quick-hands before roofing a back-hand finish.

It was another impressive display from ex-NHL forward Staal, who all in all scored three goals over the course of the weekend.

Hay continued: Staller’s been the guy who’s been popping in the goals in this winning streak we’ve had, a couple of them he’s made out of nothing, but he also works hard and is great defensively and that line with him and Taylor (MacDougall), with young Harry (Ferguson) who has been filling in of late have been great.”

In what was an exciting game, with both net-minders in fine form, Storm scored a deserved equaliser in the 37th minute. Cody Cartier, who had twice been denied after excellent saves from Caps’ red-hot goalie Travis Fullerton, scored after a smart pass across the crease from Connor Varley.

Storm should have gone ahead soon after, but a diving goalline clearance from recently appointed Capitals captain Jacob Johnston ensured the teams went into the second period break tied at one apiece.

In a third period, where quality chances were at a premium, Storm edged ahead after Caps got into penalty trouble, which included a five-on-three power-play and a four minute penalty for accidental high sticks served by Johnston.

Manchester eventually made the extra man count, Trevor Johnson on the mark with a bullet of a slap-shot at 52 minutes and 20 seconds. Caps refused to lie down, and with home fans screaming for a penalty after a hit behind the play, Staal played to the whistle and scrambled home an equaliser with just three and a half minutes remaining to force overtime.

In what may prove a rarity, after the Elite League brought in three-on-three overtime this season, there were no goals in the extra five minutes of play. Although Caps, who were awarded a power-play of their own, came close on several occasions.

Vorobyev, and Storm’s Mario Trabuccio, netted in the shoot-out, before Vorobyev scored again in sudden-death to give Edinburgh the extra point.

With players to return to the line-up in the coming weeks, this welcome run of early wins shows know sign of slowing down.

“It’s great,” said Hay. “We have a real group of nice guys in there who all get on with one another, which makes a real difference. There’s no bitching at one another in the locking room. Its working out a treat and with the guys we have I don’t see that changing.

“We’ve got a core of players who are defensive minded during the game which makes a big difference, and that makes us a difficult team to beat.”