Murrayfield Racers begin North Cup campaign by defeating Dundee Comets
Murrayfield Racers, helped by a three-goal blitz late in the third period, got their NIHL North Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 7-4 home success over Dundee Comets tonight.
Tied 4-4 with under seven minutes to play, Racers captain Joel Gautschi’s turn-and-shot from the circle that flashed past Comets netminder Matthew Michie proved to be the game winner of an entertaining tie that saw former Fife Flyers stopper Craig Douglas make his debut for the Edinburgh club.
However, experienced Racers forward Callum Boyd warned his team-mates of even tougher challenges ahead against NIHL opposition in the cross-border competition, saying: “It was a good battle and a good win for us but I feel like we can play a lot better.
“We know in this competition we’re going to be up against the likes of Solway, Whitley and Billingham and these are going to be really tough games for us. We need to pull ourselves together because these games are coming up really soon.
“It’s great to finish the game the way we did tonight, but we know what we’ve got ahead of us and what we need to be working on.”
Despite out-shooting the visors 23 to four in the final period, Racers, to that point, had it far from all their own way and trailed 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes, Comets’ goals coming from Adam McNicol and former Edinburgh Capitals forward Sean Beattie, sandwhiched between a Boyd equaliser for Murrayfied after Gautschi had found him with a nice pass from behind the net.
Racers tied the game 30 seconds into the second period, Gautschi firing a hard shot beyond Michie after nice build-up play from Boyd, and Racers man-of-the-match Ethan Reid. A mistake from Michie just a minute later led to Racers going in front, the Comets net-minder stumbling over the line whilst holding the puck after initially saving a Marty Simpson effort.
Comets equalised through David Pokorny before Racers, through Rihards Grigors and former Elite League ace John Dolan for the visitors, both scored to see the sides end the second period tied 4-4.
Following Gautschi’s late strike, Comets ran into penalty trouble and Racers cemented the win with two power-play goals through Alex Christian and a second of the night for Boyd.