Cloutier rues ill-discipline as defeats add up

Ryan Finnerty, Sheffield Steelers coach
Ryan Finnerty, Sheffield Steelers coach
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HULL Stingrays’ player-coach Sylvain Cloutier admitted the wheels “fell off the wagon” after his team crashed 6-2 at Edinburgh Capitals last night.

Coupled with a last-minute 4-3 defeat at Braehead Clan on Saturday night, it all added up to a pretty miserable four days for the East Yorkshire club, following their 7-2 loss at home to Braehead on Thursday.

“We were very ill-disciplined and I’m not happy,” said Cloutier. “It was totally our fault that we lost against Edinburgh.

“They scored four powerplay goals which tells the story. We had our chances too, though, but we got punished by taking too many penalties.

“It was inexcusable. Some of the things we did out there were embarrassing. When we play as a team we are pretty good, but when we don’t play as a team you see what happens and it was the same on Thursday.

“If it wasn’t for Bownsy (goaltender Ben Bowns) it could have been a lot worse. The wheels sure fell off the wagon.”

Although small comfort on the long coach ride home, Hull could count themselves unlucky after the loss in Braehead, only missing out on a deserved point when Drew Miller scored a powerplay goal with 35 seconds remaining.

Sheffield Steelers may have emerged from the weekend without a win, but – in reality – with little damage done to their hunt for silverware.

A 3-2 home defeat to Cardiff Devils on Saturday night allowed Nottingham Panthers to move into second behind overall league leaders Belfast Giants after Corey Neilson’s side defeated Dundee Stars 5-1 last night.

The setback at the Motorpoint Arena, however, was not enough to knock Ryan Finnerty’s team off the top of the Erhardt Conference standings, where they hold the edge over Belfast by courtesy of having more wins.

A second setback came in Cardiff last night in the Challenge Cup, when they lost out 7-6 after a shoot-out. The point earned in South Wales ensures they remain in control of their own destiny in Group B and a win against Coventry Blaze later this month would be enough to guarantee them the top seeding ahead of the quarter-final stages.

Cardiff’s Chris Blight earned the home team – already eliminated – the extra point in the shootout.

In the English Premier League it was another disappointing weekend for Sheffield Steeldogs after they suffered two more defeats on the road, losing 2-1 at Slough and 5-1 at Bracknell.