Manchester Storm 4 – 2 Edinburgh Capitals
Manchester Storm got back to winning ways this past Saturday night with a gritty 4-2 win over the Edinburgh Capitals as the Storm was made to battle all the way for the victory by their Scottish and Conference opponents at the Altrincham Ice Rink. Two goals by Canadian forward ‘Super’ Mario Trabucco saw him helping his side to overcome the ‘Caps‘ and move up to sixth place in the Elite League table with the win.
It saw an unbelievable start by the home side, as the Storm came out on fire in the opening six minutes and were almost unplayable to defend against, with Travis Fullerton in the Capitals goals almost being a one-man team in the opening minutes of the contest. That said, Manchester did make the most of their quick start with two quick fire goals into the opening 72 seconds of the game, after Mario Trabucco opened the scoring after 55 seconds gone on the clock after Darian Dziurzynski played a pass at the front of the net for Trabucco to put home. Cody Cartier then doubled the advantage six seconds later for the home side as he fired his shot past the goalie to leave their opponent stunned with those two early strikes.
Storm bossed the opening period and didn’t give a sniff to their Gardiner Conference rival at all and if not for the brilliance in netminder Travis Fullerton of the Capitals then it would have been a case of the game being over inside the first half of the period, with the Capitals reeling in the game. One thing that didn’t seem to be clicking at all for Manchester was their power play unit, after they struggled to set up any kind of attacking threats with two power plays that came their way in the first.
Opening moments of the second saw the Storm finally cashing in on a power play coming their way, with Jack Prince putting home to make it 3-0 early in the period and that looked like it could spell the end of the game for Edinburgh, as they weren’t showing signs of any type of comeback at all. The visitors then started to show signs of life in the game with Mike Clemente in the home goal forced into a couple of stops, but Manchester always seemed to be always on top of their opponents and smothered their attacks.
Some bad habits then started to creep into Storm’s play and had the home side picking up penalties with Mark Heatley getting a tripping call and then Taylor Dickin picked up a needless roughing penalty after he kept up his heated exchanges with a Capitals man after the whistle. Manchester then played out the final minute and twenty-seconds on the penalty kill, after Heatley was serving an interference call. Edinburgh then thought that they had pulled a goal back through a Michael Dorazio effort, but after a brief discussion with the officials on the ice it saw no-goal given as it was adjudge to have hit the post.
Much like the start to the previous two periods of play, it saw the visitors capitalising on a power play opportunity through a Karel Hromas redirect at the front of the net to see Edinburgh back in the contest. The visitors then began to put the home side under pressure, as they came more into the game and that was even more evident when Taylor McDougall put in from close range to see the Caps move within one of the Storm.
Both teams wrestled for advantage and when it seemed like the play was favouring the away side, it then saw Edinburgh nearly jumping on an error by the home side and forced Clemente to make a stop and cover up with the home defence a bit shaky. Then came the turning point in the game as Storm’s Cody Cartier and Edinburgh’s Garrett Milan both collided behind the visitors net with the Caps player coming off worse, this then saw Dorazio hit the Manchester man into the boards from behind while he was on one knee and Patrik Valcak took exception to it. With order restored, it saw the Capitals man being ejected from the game with a 5+Game for a check to the head and gave the home side a power play.
Manchester was given a five-minute power play from the Dorazio incident and looked to make full use of it, but for a majority of the time it was like they were going to squander this great opportunity that they had, with the Capitals clearing the puck away from their goal. Without doubt Edinburgh’s best penalty killer was between the pipes in Fullerton, and he was having another outstanding game against Manchester and was denying the home side time and time again from increasing their lead and helped his side remain in the contest. Eventually the Storm managed to break down his defences again, thanks to a Mario Trabucco goal that saw the puck find the lower half of the net and put the hosts 4-2 up.
Edinburgh pulled their goalie late on in search of two goals to tie the game, but the home side were not to be denied and picked up a big two points ahead of their long bus journey up to Dundee awaiting them the next night.
Sunday saw the Storm facing the long trip up north of the border to face the Dundee Stars at the Dundee Ice Arena and went down 3-2, with Paul Phillips and late Trevor Johnson both hitting the target..