MATTY DAVIES says he is enjoying life at Hull Stingrays more than ever before after the club extended their unbeaten run to six games with a 4-2 triumph over Dundee Stars.
Sylvain Cloutier’s team twice came from behind against their closest rivals for the Gardiner Conference title and can now extend their remarkable run of form – a new club record – further when they take on Braehead Clan in Glasgow on Sunday night.
Saturday night’s win extended Hull’s lead at the top of the conference to four points over second-placed Dundee, who do have four games in hand. In the overall league standings, Hull remain sixth, but are now only four points off second-placed Dundee and two behind Braehead and Sheffield Steelers.
Hull go into Braehead on Sunday for their third clash in nine days against Ryan Finnerty’s team, who they have beaten in all five previous meetings between the two this season.
At Hull Arena on Saturday, Nikita Kashirsky opened the scoring on the powerplay for Dundee at 3.35 before league-leading scorer Guillaume Doucet levelled three minutes later to ensure Hull capitalised on a 5-on-3 powerplay.
After a scrappy second period in which both teams continued to work each other out - all four previous games had been settled in Dundee’s favour by the odd goal – the Stars regained the lead at 37.11 as Nico Sacchetti found a way through Ben Bowns at his near post.
A focused Stingrays emerged from the break to go on and dominate the third period, their pressure eventually paying off when player-coach Cloutier pounced to prod the puck home from a rebound of Stars netminder Dan Bakala at 51.55.
Less than two minutes later, a break into the Dundee zone saw Omar Pacha fire high over Bakala’s left shoulder to give Hull the lead for the first time, the win confirmed with 54 seconds remaining when fellow defenceman Pavel Gomeniuk fired in an empty net goal.
Afterwards, British forward Davies – only recently returned from injury – admitted it was a relief to finally get the better of their Scottish rivals.
“They’ve been a really tough team for us this season,” said Davies.
“We’ve probably had the better of them in most games, but their goalie has been unbelievable – and he was again tonight as well.
“Having won six on the bounce is massive for this club. It’s never felt like this in all the time I’ve been here.
“We didn’t start particularly great this season, but we’ve turned it around. We were playing okay, but just not getting the results but at the minute we’re winning and it’s contagious. Everyone is playing their role.”
To watch match highlights and Matty Davies’ interview click the PLAY button at the top of the page
Both Hull and Dundee missed out on the play-offs last time around, something Davies believes is a motivating factor this year in East Yorkshire.
“Missing out on the play-offs last year is definitely driving me on this season,” added Davies.
“With the Conferences coming in we just missed out last year on winning ours and being so close and missing out was very frustrating.
“But we knew we could have done it, even though we didn’t really play great last season - we had quite a few bad patches.
“So this year we’ve come in wanting to do a lot better, especially with the Conference games, away from home we’ve definitely improved this year and that has helped us massively.”