Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals relieved to end losing streak
Player-coach Richard Hartmann was pleased to see his defensive unit finally click as Edinburgh Capitals ended an 11-game losing run for their first victory of 2015.
Sunday's 4-3 win over Hull Stingrays ended their barren form, keeping the Caps in that all important eighth place, which would guarantee a play-off place.
"The guys understood we had to play more defensively and while we weren't quite 100%, we played better than we did on Saturday," said Hartmann.
"It's a great feeling to win again and I hope we can go on a similar run to the one we went on, winning nine in 11 after losing the previous 14.
"For me, the defeats and the pressure that go with it gets me down. It's a big win and we're still focused on trying to qualify for the play-offs."
After losing 7-3 at Braehead Clan on Saturday, it was hard to see where Edinburgh's next win was coming from.
The visitors were four down by the first period break at the Braehead Arena as Derek Roehl, Stefan Meyer, Matt Keith and Neil Trimm all found the net.
Rene Jarolin and Greg Collins hit back for the Caps, with further goals from Keith, Trimm and Jamie Fritsch re-establishing a comfortable lead for the hosts, and Daniel Naslund nabbing a consolation.
Confidence must have been low going into Sunday's home game but the Caps found themselves two up in the early stages as Kyle Flemington and Riley Emmerson were both successful only for Will Frederick and Carl Lauzon to drag Hull level.
Emmerson restored Edinburgh's lead, with Lauzon equalising, but Collins managed to edge the Caps in front once more, doing enough to seal the win.
Following Saturday's success, Braehead Clan travelled to fellow title challengers Nottingham Panthers but returned home on the wrong end of a 6-3 scoreline.
Salters gave Clan the lead, but Chris Higgins, Colby Cohen and two from Guillaume Doucet turned the game in Panthers' favour.
Trimm pulled another back, only for Chris Lawrence to make it 5-2 before Higgins added another to compound Braehead's misery, although Roehl reduced the deficit late on.
"It was a game I felt we could have won, even when we were in a losing position and there wasn't anyone who didn't think we could come back," said frustrated Clan skipper Matt Keith.
"As disappointing as it is, we can look on it as a positive and we still deserve to be where we are, regardless of how things turned out."
Dundee Stars' hopes of catching Coventry Blaze just above them in the league standings took a significant dent as they were edged 2-1 by the Skydome side.
The visitors got the perfect start when John Dolan opened the scoring after only five minutes but it was cancelled out as Ashley Tait scored for the Blaze in the second session, with Jakob Sindel nicking victory for the home team with a couple of minutes left.
Fife Flyers and Belfast Giants were one win apiece at the end of the weekend after both sides registered respective home wins.
Giants took the points at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday in a 5-2 win as with Ned Lukacevic and Jamie Milam scoring mere consolations.
On Sunday, it was the Flyers who took the spoils in Kirkcaldy, winning 5-4 after penalty shots in an end to end game.
Bobby Chaumont's opener was cancelled out by Mark McCutcheon before Colin Shields put the visitors in front, with Kyle Haines and Milam firing Fife into a 3-2 lead.
Darryl Lloyd and Adam Keefe swung the game back in the visitors' favour until Lukacevic evened things up, taking the game beyond regulation time.
And netminder Kevin Regan's heroics in goal from Peacock proved decisive as the Kirkcaldy side clinched the win.
ELITE LEAGUE RESULTS
Belfast Giants 5-2 Fife Flyers
Braehead Clan 7-3 Edinburgh Capitals
Coventry Blaze 2-1 Dundee Stars
Edinburgh Capitals 4-3 Hull Stingrays
Fife Flyers 5-4 Belfast Giants (PS)
Nottingham Panthers 6-3 Braehead Clan