Scottish ice hockey: Caps coach calls for hard work, more misery for Clan
Edinburgh Capitals interim co-coach Mike D'Orazio reckons his team have taken a step in the right direction after the departure of Dmitri Khristich.
The Ukrainian left the club after only a few months in charge, with the Caps skipper taking on coaching duties along with Khristich's number two, Jock Hay.
And after promising signs during Saturday's 6-3 home loss to Belfast Giants, D'Orazio has called upon his team to up their work ethic in future games.
"We had a great first period, but our D zone lapsed a bit," he said. "As I've told the guys, Rome wasn't built in a day, but we've taken a step in the right direction.
"There are long time pros in our locker room that have experienced a change in coach, but it's definitely different for us this time.
"Dmitri was a great guy and it's always hard to see a coach go halfway through a season, but for us, we have to move forward and control what we do.
"The message I've been driving home is to keep the work ethic up. Hopefully the guys in time will adapt to that. It's a transition period, but that's the aim."
Edinburgh showed plenty of positives under new management and despite a first period lead through Mike Cazzola, couldn't stop Belfast in their tracks as they came from behind to win.
Blair Riley, Colin Shields, Matt Towe and David Rutherford all netted for the Giants, with Pavel Vorobyev pulling one back for the Caps.
Rutherford's second effectively sealed the points for Adam Keefe's side and although Cazzola got his second, Sebastien Sylvestre added a late sixth for the visitors.
Braehead Clan slumped to their sixth and seventh losses in a row as they failed to glean any points from Cardiff Devils and Sheffield Steelers.
There were positives from the visit of the champions on Friday, but it wasn't enough as Clan went down 3-2 to the Devils.
Jacob Doty opened the scoring for the home side, but Cardiff hit back through Justin Faryna and Patrick Asselin before Michal Gutwald levelled for the Clan.
Devils captain Jake Morrissette got the winning goal, which proved to be enough despite a decent display from John Tripp's men.
The taste of defeat came round again on Saturday as Clan went down 3-0 at Sheffield Steelers. Matt Marquardt, Colton Fretter and Mathieu Roy all struck to pile the misery on Braehead, who remain third bottom after this weekend.
Right behind them are Dundee Stars, who halted Fife Flyers' six-game unbeaten run with a 4-2 victory on Friday night.
Evan Bloodoff scored for Fife, but Riley Stadel, Gabriel Levesque, Malcolm Gould and Jimmy Jensen all found the target to take the points for the Stars.
A late one from Liam Heelis proved to be nothing more than a consolation for Todd Dutiaume's men.
The result pulled Dundee to within three points of Braehead, but they couldn't close that gap any further when they went to Cardiff on Saturday.
The Devils, fresh from their trip to Glasgow, thrashed Omar Pacha's side 8-1 as they asserted themselves further at the top of the table.
Adam Harding was able to cancel out Morrissette's opener for Cardiff, but the Devils flexed their muscles and surged to a dominant victory.
Sean Bentivoglio, Andrew Hotham, Asselin, another from Morrissette and one each from Layne Ulmer, Matt Pope and Luke Piggott all scored as the champions strolled to victory.
Fife Flyers recovered from Friday's Dundee disappointment to extinguish the Guildford Flames in Surrey, but needed overtime in a slender 2-1 win.
Kruise Reddick put the home side ahead late in the second period, which Ian Young cancelled out early in the third for the Flyers.
However, Young killed Guildford with the winner in the extra period as Fife Flyers entered the festive spirit in buoyant mood.
WEEKEND RESULTS (all game league unless stated)
Braehead Clan 2-3 Cardiff Devils
Dundee Stars 4-2 Fife Flyers
Cardiff Devils 8-1 Dundee Stars
Edinburgh Capitals 3-5 Belfast Giants
Guildford Flames 1-2 Fife Flyers (OT)
Sheffield Steelers 3-0 Braehead Clan