Murrayfield Racers, a name absent from British ice hockey for 23 years, returned home to Edinburgh last night but weren’t able to mark the occasion with a win as they lost 5-3 to Scottish National League champions Dundee Comets in the second leg of the Caledonia Challenge Cup.
Following Racers’ 6-3 win on Tayside in the first leg the previous day, Comets picked up the pre-season trophy at Murrayfield with a goal in the sudden death overtime period.
Racers, who on Saturday skated to a comfortable win with goals from player/assistant coach Martin Cingel, Michael Ireland, Daniel Abercrobie, Joel Gautschi and a brace from Callum Boyd, looked sluggish against a slicker Comets side.
Racers trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes, but pulled level in the second period through a Boyd double, the former Elite League Edinburgh Capitals forward picking up the man-of-the match award for the home side. They fell two behind again before Cingel reduced the deficit, but Comets secured a deserved win in regulation time and nicked the spoils at the death thanks to a goal in overtime with just 17 seconds remaining.
The fixture drew a respectable crowd for the re-launched club who failed this summer in bids to join the professional ranks of the British Elite League as well as the semi-pro UK-wide National Ice Hockey League.
Fans will have to settle for the amateur ranks of the Scottish National League for now, as well as matches against what is expected to be a higher calibre of opposition in the NIHL Cup, which will see Racers compete in at least 10 games in the hone and away round robin tourney.
Racers hope to see their fan base develop throughout the season, which gets under way for real on Sunday with a home tilt in the SNL against North Ayrshire Wild (face-off 6pm).