Stingrays end long wait for win over Blaze

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JEREME Tendler fired another double to take him joint-top in the Elite League goal-scorers list and seal Hull Stingrays first win over ‘sister’ club Coventry Blaze at the sixth attempt.

With both clubs owned by the same management team, it was Paul Thompson’s Blaze side which had made it five wins out of five this season over Sylvain Cloutier’s team with Tuesday night’s 5-2 triumph at the Skydome Arena.

But Coventry’s seven-game winning streak was brought to a halt in Hull last night, as an under-strength Stingrays stepped up to deliver a significant boost to their chances of making the post-season play-offs, the 3-2 win taking them eight points clear of Dundee Stars with the Scottish side having two games in hand.

The result also took them to within three points of seventh-placed Edinburgh Capitals having played the same number of games.

Coventry - with former Stingrays forward Frantisek Bakrlik in their line-up on his first return to his former club after being axed by Cloutier in November - took a 10th-minute lead through Shea Guthrie’s powerplay strike, the man advantage coming after the Hull player-coach was sent to the penalty box on a hooking call.

It wasn’t long before the home side - missing captain Kurtis Dulle as well as British forwards Matty Davies and Tristan Harper - were level with a powerplay strike of their own, however, making the most of Jonathan Weaver’s hooking call for Jason Silverthorn to fire home past Peter Hirsch in the Blaze net at 11.47 for his 16th goal of the season.

Another powerplay strike at 24.14, this time from the red-hot Tendler, saw a determined Hull get their noses in front and that was how it stayed until the end of the second period.

Despite Coventry piling the pressure on - out-shooting the hosts two-to-one in the third - it was Hull who got an all-important third goal, doubling their lead at 53.36 with Tendler’s 26th goal of the season following good work by line-mates Silverthorn and Derek Campbell.

Woo-Sang Park made it 3-2 with less than a minute left, but Hull stayed solid for a deserved win ahead of Thursday night’s home encounter against Nottingham Panthers (7.30pm).

For ticket information on Thursday night’s match between Hull and Nottingham contact 01482 325252

Twitter: @philarra