Dundee CCS Stars completed a dismal season with two defeats at the hands of Edinburgh Capitals.
On Saturday, they were beaten 5-3 and followed that with a 4-3 loss after penalties in Murrayfield, making this season the worst in their 14-year history.
In Dundee the following night, Sam McCluskey returned to the line-up but Edinburgh opened the scoring early on with a goal from Riley Emerson.
On nine minutes, Capitals goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky was given a five-minute major penalty for tripping and that was followed by a game misconduct. Back-up keeper Kevin Forshall took his place but, on 13 minutes, Bari McKenzie scored the equaliser for Stars on the powerplay.
The period ended level but Dundee outshot their opponents 20-9.
On 24 minutes, Stars Marc Cheverie was given a two-minute minor for hooking and, on the resultant powerplay, Rene Jarolin netted to put Edinburgh ahead.
On the 28-minute mark, Capitals made it 3-1 when Emmerson scored his second, this time on a powerplay after James Isaacs was given two minutes for holding.
Another powerplay goal on 45 minutes opened up a 4-1 lead for the visitors, this with a five-on-three when Chris Blight was given two minutes for kneeing. That was quickly followed by a two-minute minor for high sticks on Igor Gongalsky. Capitals cashed in on the two extra men as Greg Collins fired home.
On 53 minutes, Capitals appeared to put the game beyond their hosts when Jordan Steel made it 5-1 but a goal from Shane Lust after 55 minutes and a third three minutes later from Isaacs brought it back to 5-3.
In Murrayfield on Saturday, Dennis Rix gave the home side the lead after three minutes.
It took Stars until the 18th minute to equalise and it was Ryan Grimshaw who grabbed the counter. With 13 seconds left in the opening stanza, Dundee took a 2-1 lead when Kyle Gibbons netted.
Riley Emmerson levelled for Capitals on 23 minutes but Jeff Hutchins restored Dundee’s lead with a powerplay goal soon after. Jade Portwood levelled at 3-3 on 34 minutes.
The final period failed to produce any further goals, as did the overtime session, and Capitals lifted the two points after winning the shoot-out.
Stars will feel they should have taken more of their chances as they vastly outshot their opponents in both matches.
Stars’ coach Jeff Hutchins wasn’t available for comment last night but was quoted as saying after Saturday’s game that there was little effort from his players and that it was hard to motivate those who don’t want to be motivated.
After the success of last season, the fans couldn’t be blamed for expecting better things, or at the very least, a similar effort from their team.
The team have had injury problems but, when they were playing with a short bench, too often their discipline fell apart at a time when they needed to be disciplined. Too many penalties were taken and too many goals lost on the powerplays.
Hutchins has a year left on his contract and it is vital he gets his recruitment right if he is to restore faith to many disillusioned Stars fans.