Hey Caps fans, and welcome to the 2nd leg of our Playoff Quarter Final here at Murrayfield against Kilmarnock Thunder.
We have a battle in front of us tonight to turn around a 2 goal deficit from the first leg but we’re ready for it and we want to book our place in the finals weekend, especially as it is being held here, in our home rink.
I’ve been asked to give you all a review of the season so here goes. There’s a lot to cover. I’ll try and condense it as best I can. Here goes…..
Building a team from scratch wasn’t easy!! However, we did it and I hope you’ll all agree that the team have been entertaining, and competitive and has made you guys proud every time we hit the ice.
The first couple of months were tough having to practise in other rinks like Fife and Braehead and play our first few games on the road until Murrayfield opened. It made it challenging but maybe the little bit of adversity helped to bring a new team together. We put together a few good results early on and that gave us hope for the remaining season ahead.
We got in our rink for our first practice on 27th October. We said to the guys that night that our season officially starts now and after losing our first home game, we went on a run until mid-February where we beat Whitley Bay home & away, took 28 points out of a possible 32 in the league and slowly climbed the table to challenge for the league title.
Our title challenge sadly faltered and we finished the league season in second place. Second place was a relatively good outcome for a first-year team but nowhere near good enough for the standards we set ourselves. The goal was to win the league and we didn’t do that. Disappointed was an understatement. Watching Aberdeen celebrate winning the league sticks in our throats but congratulations to them. The SNL this year has been an extremely competitive league where anyone could have beaten anyone on any given night. We ultimately came up a little short. We’ll be better equipped both on and off the ice next year to achieve our goal.
Now, here we are today. 60 minutes away from a place in the final four. We need your noise one more time to help us get there. I know you’ll be loud. You have been all season – I doubt you’ll stop now.
Finally, I’d just like to say what a privilege it’s been this year to coach this team so to the rink and team management – thank you for the opportunity. I joke with Scotty that I waited 15 years to be asked to coach the Edinburgh Capitals since I left as a player in 2007!! And to you, the fans – thank you for all your support throughout the season and thank you for buying into what we are trying to achieve here, both in the short and long term. When we started this, we thought we’d be doing well if we averaged 400 or 500 fans per game. We’ve not had less than 1000 since our Hogmanay game and our attendance peaked around 1650 for the home game against Aberdeen in February. Old Caps Elite League and BNL teams didn’t get close to those attendances. That’s been one of the best parts of seeing the club rebuild and rise again with both old and new hockey fans, the interaction between fans & players, fan photo Fridays on social media etc. and a packed Murrayfield on a Saturday night. Remember, people said for years, and also at the start of this year that hockey in Edinburgh would never work if the home games were on a Saturday night…..
Enjoy the game. Hopefully, we can do what we need to do to be part of next weekend’s event and I can’t wait to see you all again next season.