Stingrays still left with plenty to smile about despite Flyers loss

Guillaume Doucet
Guillaume Doucet
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IRRESPECTIVE of last night’s defeat at Fife Flyers, Hull Stingrays were still able to enjoy their Elite League weekend following their stunning 7-5 win over defending champions Nottingham Panthers the night before.

Corey Neilson’s team may have staged a third-period fightback to make the scoreline look respectable at Hull Arena on Saturday night but Hull – 7-1 ahead at one stage – held on to record their biggest win of the season so far.

Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier would have been disappointed not to follow it up with at least a point on the road in Fife last night against Gardiner Conference rivals, but very little will take the gloss of his team’s performance against Nottingham.

Jereme Tendler (12.36) and hat-trick hero Guillaume Doucet (13.44) netted quickfire goals to put Stingrays 2-0 up, before David Clarke pulled one back at 18.26.

Doucet netted on the powerplay 36 seconds into the middle session and Carl Lauzon added a fourth which saw Panthers replace goaltender Neil Conway with Dan Green at 24.15.

Jason Silverthorn (31.33) and Tendler on the powerplay at 36.09 piled on the agony for the Panthers before Doucet completed his hat-trick at 46.27.

Matt Francis (2), Chris Murray and Clarke (57.05 powerplay) hauled Panthers back into the game, but Hull – still missing several key players – held on.

After a goalless first period in Fife, a second period hat-trick by Bobby Chaumont put paid to Hull’s hopes of adding another two points.

Doucet and Tendler were on target in the middle section, with captain Jeff Smith adding a 49th-minute third, but it couldn’t prevent defeat for the visitors.

The inconsistency which has dogged Sheffield Steelers for most of the season surfaced again at the weekend in their double header with Cardiff Devils.

Doug Christiansen’s team twice came from behind to beat their South Wales rivals 4-3 at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, but were 5-1 losers in the return match last night in Cardiff.

Gord Baldwin, Robert Dowd, and Jonathan Phillips were on target in South Yorkshire for the Steelers before Drew Fata’s 31st-minute effort proved to be the game-winning goal.

In Cardiff, three goals in less than two third-period minutes ended the hopes of the Steelers, for whom Fata scored at 47.58 to make it 2-1.