MATTY Davies admitted Hull Stingrays failed to make the most of their chances after they slipped to a disappointing 5-3 home defeat in the Elite League to Edinburgh Capitals.
The result handed Richard Hartmann’s team their first win of the season and is exactly the kind of setback against fellow Gardiner Conference opponents that player-coach Sylvain Cloutier was hoping to avoid, particularly on home ice.
Hull now head to Coventry Blaze on Sunday night looking to snap a three-game losing streak by picking up their first points in Group B of the Challenge Cup as they look to repeat reaching the knockout stage last season.
Hull out-shot Edinburgh 50-21 over the 60 minutes but, just as on Wednesday at Sheffield Steelers and last Sunday at home to Cardiff Devils, they let a lead slip, something Davies acknowledged afterwards.
“We’re obviously disappointed after that, it’s a home game in our conference which we just can’t afford to lose,” said Davies.
“Going in it was a win at all costs kind of game and a loss just wasn’t good enough.
“Their goalie played well and we out-shot them two-to-one, but we’ve just got to make sure that we bury our chances.
“Momentum is a weird thing sometimes and we let them back into the game and we just didn’t close it out like we should have done.
“I think we just took our foot off the gas in the second period and if you do that against any team in this league they will just punish you.”
Cloutier’s side raced into a 2-0 lead inside five minutes with Omar Pacha scoring his first goal for the club at 3.46 before Guillaume Doucet added another just 33 seconds later. Just over a minute later, however, Edinburgh halved the deficit with a sixth-minute strike Horna.
Hull enjoyed plenty of possession in the remainder of the first period, but couldn’t make it count and it was to come back and haunt them in the second section.
Only 16 seconds of the middle period had passed when the Capitals drew level through Curtis Leinweber on the powerplay with defenceman Jeff Smith in the penalty box on a hooking call.
It was Leinweber who gave the visitors the lead, again on the powerplay after Derek Campbell had been called for interference, firing past Ben Bowns at 26.00.
Hull had been rather flat for most of the period, although they still outshot their opponents by 17-6. Hope arrived early in the third period when Carl Lauzon pounced to score his first goal for the club to draw Hull level, only for Martin Cingel to restore Capitals’ one-goal advantage which, despite Lauzon and Campbell both going close, was maintained until just before the final buzzer when Hartmann secured the points with an empty net marker.
Sheffield Steelers endured a night to forget at the National Ice Centre when they fell to a heavy 7-3 defeat in the Challenge Cup to defending champions Nottingham Panthers, who now top the table by two points and with a game in hand on second-placed Steelers.
Steelers’ captain Steven Goertzen gave his team the lead at 10.02 before David Clarke levelled on the powerplay three minutes later. Mark Francis and Brandon Benedict then struck to give Panthers a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening session.
Maxime Lacroix made it a one-goal game with his sixth strike of the season at 27.37, but the Panthers were 4-2 to the good at the end of the second after Chris Capraro scored at 38.31.
Lacroix again reduced the deficit with a short-handed strike at 41.03 and, again, Capraro replied, making it 5-3 at 49.50. Robert Lachowicz gave Panthers some breathing space at 55.20 before Leigh Salters’s powerplay strike two minutes later wrapped up the scoring for the night to the delight of the home fans.
Elite League: Dundee Stars 7 Cardiff Devils 0, Fife Flyers 1 Coventry Blaze 2 (PS), Hull Stingrays 3 Edinburgh Capitals 5.
Challenge Cup, Group A: Belfast Giants 5 Braehead Clan 4.
Challenge Cup, Group B: Nottingham Panthers 7 Sheffield Steelers 3