Capitals 1 Clan 6 (League)

18 March 2018

The penultimate home game of the season saw the Capitals facing the Clan, as the Braehead side battle to qualify for the EIHL play-offs in the Capitals’ first Pride night.

The Capitals iced nearly a full line - up, with only Beskorowany and Banashkov missing, due to icing and illness respectively.

Clan had most of the possession in the first few minutes, resulting in a penalty on Cazzola for slashing with less than two minutes played. The resulting Clan power play was scrappy, but as it came close to ending, Peacock picked up a rebound, which had looked like it was going to go safely past the net, and froze McLaughlin, putting it topshelf to give the Clan a 1-0 lead.

However, Capitals regrouped and play became more even, with Capitals seeing more time in the offensive end - even if they struggled to get the puck on the net. Their defence remained hit and miss though - and mostly miss - and only the Clan’s inability to connect on passes and McLaughlin’s saves kept the score at one.

When Mosio was sent off for tripping with around xix(after a series of provocations by Gutwald which went unpenalised), it was the Capitals who had the best of the penalty kill, with Cazzola intercepting a Clan defensive pass for a lovely scoring chance which saw him in alone on Nie. Nie made the save, but the Capitals were able to kill the penalty easily.

With two minutes to play in the first, the defensive errors came back to bite the Capitals hard, as a defence pass went awry, leaving the Clan forwards with a 2 on 0. Doty finished the move off a Brace set up for a 2-0 lead.

With about a minute to go, the Capitals were pressing and Ferguson drew a penalty, battling to hold position in front of the net. However in the remnants of the first and the start of the second, the Capitals struggled to get set up in the zone and Clan were able to kill it successfully.

The play through the first half of the second was pretty scrappy, with both sides a bit lacklustre and uncommitted. However, as the period went on, the play started to ramp up again. Anderson would not return for the already short-benched Capitals, leaving the top line rotating through, and a near constant presence by Cazzola on the ice.

At the half way point, Poulin was called for a trip on Lawrence - it seemed more accidental than intentional, but the Capitals were able to establish in the zone and eventually Podzins got the puck from Ferguson to deke it past Nie to bring the score back to 2-1. Valeev was awarded the second assist.

In the final minutes of the second, the play was a lot more intense, both sides pushing to get the next goal. McLaughlin made a series of big saves from close in to hold the Capitals in the game, until Hamalainen came from behind the net to back-hand it past McLaughlin with than two minutes to play.

Although the Capitals were again awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the period, they were not able to score to reduce the lead and Clan finished 3-1 ahead.

In the third, the Clan were able to take advantage of the short-benched Capitals who just looked done. They scored early in the third to make it 4-1, then, although they’d lost Haywood to injury, again halfway through the period when Brooks drove through the crease and made it 6-1 with a tip past McLaughlin with four minutes remaining. Although the Caps came back in the last couple of minutes, they were not able to get a second and that’s how the game finished.

Burt got Man of Match for Braehead - Brace also had a four point night.

For the Capitals, McLaughlin was awarded Man of Match - although both Podzins and Cazzola would also have been worthy recipients for their effort all night.