Hull Stingrays find their form as late blast sees off Capitals

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HULL Stingrays ended a seven-game losing streak in style last night when they finally got the better of Edinburgh Capitals with a 5-1 triumph.

The result saw Sylvain Cloutier’s team close the gap on their Scottish rivals to three points having played a game more.

Nerves were only settled in the last six minutes of a feisty encounter, however, when Hull plundered three goals in under four minutes against a team who had beaten them in each of the three previous meetings.

Player-coach Cloutier was looking for a fast start from his team and was rewarded just after five minutes when the in-form Jereme Tendler fired home a short-handed strike past Nathan Craze in the Capitals’ goal.

But, with Hull’s Andy McKinney in the penalty box on a hooking call, the visitors pulled themselves level on the power play before the end of the first period, Jiri Hanzal bundling the puck past Christian Boucher at 15.22.

Early in the second, Hull were handed almost a minute and a half of five-on-three with Bari McKenzie and Capitals’ player-coach Richard Hartmann both serving minor penalties. They only needed 16 seconds of it to edge themselves ahead again, when Jason Silverthorn tipped in Kurtis Dulle’s shot at 23.19.

McKenzie was then denied by Boucher on a breakaway before defenceman Dmitry Rodin did well to thwart the visitors when they fashioned a two-on-one break.

The third saw the game develop into a scrappy affair, with Derek Campbell ‘s game ending early after instigating a fight with Daniel McIntyre following his late trip on Silverthorn.

The goal Hull required to settle their nerves finally came in the 55th minute when Tendler broke free to slot home his 23rd of the season. Three minutes later, neat skill by Silverthorn set up Dominic Osman. Another breakaway saw Cloutier and Rodin end with the coach tapping into an empty net to set up his side ahead of three games in three days against Coventry Blaze (twice) and Nottingham.