Positive signs leave Cloutier optimistic

Hull Stingrays' player-coach Sylvain Cloutier
Hull Stingrays' player-coach Sylvain Cloutier
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SYLVAIN Cloutier believes he is enjoying one of his most positive spells since first becoming Hull Stingrays’ player-coach almost five years ago.

Several changes of ownership have no doubt tested Cloutier’s resolve during his time in East Yorkshire but, with his team sitting sixth in the overall Elite League standings and pushing hard for a Gardiner Conference title, things are looking up.

A memorable run to the play-off semi-finals two years ago will always rank highly on Cloutier’s standout moments when he reflects on his time with Hull in years to come, but he is also full of optimism for what his team are capable of achieving this time around.

“This is a very positive time for the club, there’s no doubt about that,” said Cloutier.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in this group of guys.

“This group have come here to play and they’ve all proved that they do care. Before, some guys have just come over for a holiday, but we’ve got a group of young guys who feel they have something to prove.

“We’ve got two potent offensive lines which is something we’ve never really had before.”

A weekend in Scotland to take on conference rivals Braehead Clan and Edinburgh Capitals offers a chance for Hull to further boost their play-off hopes.

They have prevailed in all three meetings against Ryan Finnerty’s Clan team so far this season and are 5-2 ahead in this season’s head-to-head series with Edinburgh Capitals, including two 7-1 victories on home ice.