Hull deprived of maximum but Steelers head back to top

HULL STINGRAYS may have just missed out on their first four-point weekend of the season, but they still enjoyed a positive couple of days in the Elite League.

Hull Stingrays' Omar Pacha
Hull Stingrays' Omar Pacha

It will no doubt have been a long, hard trip back home to East Yorkshire in the early hours of this morning for player-coach Omar Pacha and his players, who only missed out on a second win in as many days due to Shane Lust’s overtime winner for hosts Dundee Stars.

Hull had gone behind at 34.01 to Timo Kuuluvainen’s strike, although they were soon back on level terms when Carl Lauzon pounced just 20 seconds later for his second goal of the weekend. But they were to be denied a second point, meaning there was to be no repeat of the previous night’s heroics when they ended a 21-game winless streak against defending champions Belfast Giants with a 3-2 victory.

Stingrays had gone into the clash on home ice with without Pacha – who was suspended – with forwards Jordan Mayer and Sam Towner also missing and Canadian winger Jordan Knox making his debut having only arrived in Hull on Thursday.

Craig Peacock put the Giants ahead on the powerplay at 8.43, but Knox picked up an assist just under 10 minutes later when Lauzon levelled.

The Stingrays enjoyed the better of the second period, out-shooting Belfast 10-4 and went in ahead at the break with a two-goal lead, both goals coming on the powerplay in a 20-second spell, the first from captain Matty Davies at 35.50 with Zach Hervato making it 3-1 soon after.

The third period was all about holding back the Belfast tide, particularly after Kevin Westgarth cut the deficit to one goal just under three minutes in.

But Hull prevailed, despite being outshot 23-3 in the final 20, goaltender David Brown racking up 43 saves in total.

Sheffield Steelers headed back to the top of the overall standings thanks to a 4-2 win at Coventry Blaze.

The Steelers went into the first break 1-0 ahead through Tyler Mosienko’s seventh-minute powerplay strike.

Coventry levelled through former Steelers captain Steven Goertzen’s 23rd-minute powerplay strike and went ahead just after the halfway point through Ryan O’Marra.

But two goals in less than two minutes from Robert Dowd and Rod Sarich edged Steelers ahead once again before the second break, with the win being sealed by a third period powerplay strike from Mike Forney

Coupled with a 6-5 overtime defeat for title rivals Braehead Clan in Cardiff Devils, it was enough to put Steelers one point clear at the top.