Match report

Blaze stunned by Capitals

Capitals 5
Blaze 2

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze suffered a disappointing road trip to Murrayfield on Sunday night, falling to the Edinburgh Capitals 5-2 in the Elite League.

The Capitals with just one win in 15 before the game were boosted by the arrival of Latvian defenceman Nikita Kolesnikovs, plus the return of Captain Michael D’Orazio, Sergei Banashkov and Dylan Anderson. Meanwhile, Kevin Nastiuk got the start in the Blaze net after sitting out the Cup game the night before, with Brit David Clements missing out through illness.

A seemingly reinvigorated Caps team started well and opened the scoring through former Detroit Redwings draft pick Marek Tvrdon at 4.15.

Pavel Vorobyev, who played 39 times for the Chicago Blackhawks made it two (32.28) before a second for Tvrdon made it 3-0 on 30.40.

With Coventry stunned and frustrated, Danick Paquette was to receive a 2+10 penalty, also losing Assistant Captain Ryan Dingle towards the end of the second period with an apparent upper body injury.

Backed by a Man of the Match performance from netminder Pavel Shegalo, Capitals went 4-0 up at 48.12. Banashkov capitalising on a Blaze turn-over, confidently beating Nasituk one-one-one.

Previously denied on multiple chances by Shegalo, Blaze Man of the Match Adam Courchaine was to finally beat the Russian on 52.33 to make it 4-1. Marco Vallerand (58.35) was to get Coventry back within two but following a time-out and pulling of Nastiuk for the extra skater, Vorobyev registered his second into the empty net for a final score of 5-2.

Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Credit to Edinburgh tonight. I’m not going to make any excuses. They were back to full strength at home and they wanted it more than we did. I don’t care what their record says. Anytime you have to come up north, it’s going to be a tough game, and we weren’t willing to compete the way we needed to.”