Maximum haul in Cloutier’s sights to take Stingrays closer to play-offs

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WITH only two weekends of action to go, Hull Stingrays know their best hopes of boosting their bid to make the Elite League post-season lie in the next 48 hours.

On the last two days of action next week, Hull face Sheffield Steelers away before finishing off the regular season at home to Coventry Blaze.

Both are top four sides which Sylvain Cloutier’s team have struggled against all season – in the case of Sheffield losing all five previous games.

But the arrival of Cardiff Devils in Hull tonight followed by a trip to Gardiner Conference rivals Dundee Stars tomorrow is an opportunity for Hull to land a rare maxium four-point weekend.

Hull have won four of the previous five meetings this season against Cardiff, while a win on Tayside tomorrow would see Hull square the eight-game series between the two sides.

Only three points separate the bottom five in the overall league standings, with Hull currently lying bottom of the heap.

“We believe three wins from will be enough,” said Hull player-coach Sylvain Cloutier. “Ideally we don’t want to be going into the final weekend needing to win both games. Our goal is to get four points this weekend.”

Third-placed Steelers head to Coventry tonight before hosting Cardiff tomorrow.

Their weekend will have already been soured by the knowledge that fierce rivals Nottingham Panthers last night clinched the regular season title with a 5-3 win at second-placed Belfast Giants.