Coming off the back of a narrow 2-1 defeat to fifth placed Braehead Clan on the Saturday, Edinburgh Capitals were confident of going one better at home the following night. And in a fine display throughout the match, they overcame the Clan’s dominance in the third to score a short-handed goal for the match.
The first period was fairly even with the Capitals, perhaps, just having the edge. Both teams had chances, but some fine saves, coupled with a bit of inaccuracy from the shooters kept the scores level until the 11th minute. A rebound from a Richard Hartmann shot on goal was pounced on by the Capitals attackers and No 11, Curtis Leinweber, was first to the puck and stabbed it under the pads of the Clan’s Kyle Jones in goal for the opener (assists – 36, 17). For the rest of the period, both sides had a few attempts at goal, with the Capitals pulling a couple of saves out of Jones. At the other end, any attacks from the Clan were easily mopped up by the home defence, so, apart from the one goal-mouth scramble, they were reduced to shooting from distance. The period ended with the Capitals retaining their one goal lead, and, remarkably, there were no sin-binnings from either team in what was to be a very low – four in all – penalty count match.
The second period proved to be a goalless one, with the Clan coming as close as possible to scoring by appearing to have the puck across the line. However, the officials ruled on foul play so the goal was disallowed. Again, both sides had their chances, but with no further scores it was still 1-0 to Edinburgh. This period also ended with the highest penalty count of the match with one player from each side cooling their heels for two minutes.
The third and final period was to prove decisive for the Capitals as they were to score their second goal of the match. Weathering an early scrum in the goal area, they found themselves with a player in the bin for hooking. Nothing daunted, however, and in the sixth minute of the period – second of the penalty – Leinweber broke clear of the pack and charged up the ice to fire a fierce shot past Jones and into the back of the Clan’s net for his and the Capitals’ second goal (top). 2-0 to the Capitals and the Clan were looking like a beaten side. However, they picked themselves up and spent the next ten minutes trying to break down the Capitals’ defence.
A few minutes before the final hooter, Marcus Zembergs broke up the ice and was chased down by a Clan defender who poked and prodded at him and eventually brought him down just short of the goal crease. The referee awarded the Capitals a penalty shot, but didn’t seem to find it necessary to bin the offending player. Zembergs was awarded the opportunity but Jones in the Clan goal was more than equal to the task and saved the final shot. And that should have been that, but the ‘final minute time bomb’ that has existed in a few matches this year, blew up on the Capitals and, with 46 seconds left on the clock, the Clan were awarded a penalty shot of their own. This time it was Tomas Hiadlovsky’s turn in the Capitals net to save the day and he easily stopped the shot from No 19, Neil Trimm. A time-out with 26 seconds to go saw the Clan keeper pulled from the ice, but to no avail as the match ended on the hooter with the Capitals the 2-0 winners
A fine win – and their first shut-out since January 2008 – for the Edinburgh Capitals against strong opposition from the fifth place Clan. It doesn’t do anything for the Capitals league position and may affect the Clan’s Conference title hopes for this season, but must do something for the overall confidence of the club.
Images from the match will be uploaded here over the next few days.