Belfast Giants Fire Seven Past Lacklustre Edinburgh Capitals


The table topping Belfast Giants were the latest opponents for the Edinburgh Capitals at Murrayfield and cemented their place at the top with a comprehensive 7-2 victory writes John Preece.

Coming off the back of a 5-2 defeat to Fife Flyers on Saturday, the Capitals supporters could only hope for the best as they beat the Giants at Murrayfield back in November.

It was not to be as the Giants totally dominated the match with a powerful display of both attacking and defending. The first goal, by 19 Colin Shields, was scored with less than four minutes on the clock after a sustained period of pressure on the Capitals’ goal. Another three – from Calvin Efring, Jeff Mason and Dustin Whitecotton – in the following eight minutes forced the Edinburgh coaching staff to haul their players from the ice for a time-out. Time-out over and almost straight from the off, Curtis Leinweber raised the hopes of the home support with a powerplay goal, but the Giants were soon back with the script which saw Shields and Whitecotton net their seconds for a 6-1 end to the first period.

The second period was much the same story, with the Giants dominating and the Capitals chasing. However, it was the Capitals who scored the only goal of the second from Jade Portwood who slid in to net a loose puck and end the period with the score at 6-2.

Ditto the third period…. By this time the Giants were cruising but still managed a goal from Whitecotton for his hat-trick and the visitors’ seventh in the 49th minute. With no danger of losing the match now, the Giants felt it would be a good opportunity to give their backup goaltender some game time to see out the match.

Despite playing the league leaders, this was still a poor display by the Capitals with too many mistakes, missed passes and, what seemed to be, a general lack of concentration – certainly in the first period – as, defensively, they were all at sea and the Giants were able to mop up any attacking plays simply by pushing the opposition wide of the goal area. Whether the low goal count  in the second and third periods was due to the Capitals picking their game up or the Giants taking their foot off the gas is open to speculation, but it did look at one point as if the home side would be struggling to avoid a defeat well into double figures.

Photo by John Preece

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