Clan come out top against Capitals in east meets west



(Thursday 30th December 2010)

Match Report: Andrew Reeves

Tonight’s match report starts at Murrayfield ice rink where I joined the Edinburgh Capitals‘ players, staff and a group of fellow fans on the coach to travel across to Glasgow to the Braehead Arena where the Capitals’ would face the Braehead Clan.

The atmosphere was upbeat and positive despite the team recently losing two of their top scorers Alex Kim and Chris St. Jacques.

When we arrived at the impressive Braehead Arena the Capitals’ fans were disappointed to find that they had been put behind the home team goal and split into two groups, however, knowing the Capitals’ fans this would not dampen their enthusiasm.

The home team were introduced to the crowd, but there were no introductions for the visiting Edinburgh Capitals players before the fans were invited to stand for the Flower of Scotland.

Braehead are a new team in the Elite Ice Hockey League, so the Capitals’ fans wasted no time in reminding the Clan fans that only last year many of them were supporting the Edinburgh team. This game between the Weegies and Burghers was going to be personal.

The Edinburgh Capitals have had to re-organise their lines once more following the departure of Chris St. Jacques, who played his last game for the team last week.

Tonight’s game started fast, with the puck and teams playing great end to end hockey but disaster struck for the Capitals in the second minute as they failed to clear the puck following a face off in their zone and Dominic Noel made the rebound pay for the Clan, assisted by Kyle Bruce and Bruce Richardson.

Despite the quick goal, for the next ten minutes both teams were equal, taking the puck into the opposition’s zone and shooting but netminders Scott Reid (33) and Jean-Francois Perras were on fire tonight.

Jacques Perreault (23) received a two minute penalty for hooking as the game entered its fifth minute.

As the Capitals launched another attack down the ice towards the Clan’s goal, Perras saved it, tapping it behind where Nick Fanto (18) was waiting. He passed it to Adam Taylor (7) who passed to Evan Schafer (25) who poked it in the goal to level the game at one goal each after eleven and a half minutes.

Match referee Neil Wilson is definitely not a friend of the Capitals’ fans especially as he continued to miss penalties next to him.  The fans made their feelings known to Wilson, although the arena falls silent unless the Capitals’ fans were chanting or clapping, despite being massively outnumbered.

The first period finished Edinburgh Capitals one – one Braehead Clan.

The second period continued at the same frenetic speed as the previous period, but somehow the game is missing that certain something.

Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) received a two minute penalty for slashing in the sixth minute and the Clan were on their second power play of the game, but, like the first, they failed to make it count.

Bruce Richardson does a spectacular dive in the middle of the ice but no penalty for the Capitals.

Moments later Capitals’ goal scorer Evan Schafer (25) received a two minute penalty for holding and just three minutes later Jeff Hutchins (71) received his second penalty of the game, two minutes for hooking.

This time, on their fourth power play, the Clan made the Capitals pay with their second goal and his second as well.  Dominic Noel was assisted by Bruce Richardson and Mathieu Wathier with five minutes of the second period remaining.

The Capitals’ Neil Hay (16) unleashed a great shot on the Clan’s goal, but Perras had it covered.

Braehead Clan’s fans had finally woken up and were getting behind their team, whereas the Capitals’ fans had yet to go silent.

As the game entered the nineteenth minute of the second period the Capitals were once again caught out failing to clear the puck from their own zone and were punched by the Clan with a slapshot goal by Cody Bostock, assisted by Jon Landry and Bruce Richardson.

With eight seconds of the second period remaining Neil Hutchins received his hat trick, unfortunately in penalties, not goals, this time two minutes for delaying the game.

The second period finished Edinburgh Capitals one – three Braehead Clan.

The game resumes with Capitals short handed, but they killed the penalty and held off until the fifth minute when, against the run of play, a mistake ensured the puck was passed to Clan’s Kyle Bruce.  Goal number four was scored by Dominic Noel, assisted by Bruce Richardson and Kyle Bruce, giving Noel a hat trick.

In the ninth minute, Capitals’ Jacques Perreault (23) received a two minute penalty for hooking, his second of the night. 

Clan’s Ryan Campbell passed the puck in his own zone to Brendan Cook who skated the length of the rink, gave a nifty pass to Jordan Krestanovich who, with just one second of the penalty remaining, scored the fifth goal for the Clan.  This was the only Clan goal of the night that Bruce Richardson wasn’t involved in.

Just twenty seconds later Capitals received another penalty, this time Bari McKenzie, who earned two minutes for hooking.

The game finished Edinburgh Capitals one – five Braehead Clan.

The Edinburgh Capitals are one of three Scottish teams that participate in a UK wide ten team league, the Elite Ice Hockey League.

You can follow the Edinburgh Capitals on Twitter and their next home game at Murrayfield ice rink is on Sunday 9th January where they will host the Sheffield Steelers.  The doors open at 5pm and face off is 6pm.

Read more from this contributor at his Andrew Reeves Running Blog or following him on Twitter @andyreeves