ICE HOCKEY: COVENTRY Blaze slipped into the bottom half of the EIHL table following a shock defeat to Edinburgh Capitals at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Having only won just one of their first 15 matches prior to Sunday, Edinburgh sat bottom of the league table on just two points.
But their points tally was doubled on Sunday as the returning Kevin Nastiuk let five goals in as Blaze went down 5-2.
Capitals were boosted by the return of Latvian defenceman Nikita Kolesnikovs, skipper Michael D’Orazio, as well as Sergei Banashkov and Dylan Anderson.
Blaze were behind with just four minutes on the clock when former Detroit Redwings skater Marek Tvrdon opening Capitals’ account.
Pavel Vorobyev doubled Edinburgh’s lead after 32 minutes while Tvrdon registered his second goal to gift the home side a three-goal cushion.
It got worse for Blaze when Danick Paquette received a 2+10 penalty while assistant captain Ryan Dingle was forced off the ice 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 when Banashkov capitalised on a Blaze turn-over – confidently beating Nasituk one-on-one.
Shegalo was eventually beat when Adam Courchaine scored at 52.33 before Marco Vallerand brought Blaze within a goal at 58.35.
It was a case of too little too late though as Vorobyev scored an empty netter in the closing moments of the game.
Head coach Danny Stewart made no excuses for his side’s loss.
He said: “They (Edinburgh) 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.”
Picture: Scott Wiggins.