Consistency proving elusive for Stingrays

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SYLVAIN Cloutier is looking for his Hull Stingrays team to start producing some consistency as they look to end a four-game losing streak against Nottingham Panthers tonight (6.30pm).

Hull have won only two of their last 10 games, a run which has seen them drop into the bottom two of the overall Elite League table.

A game which started so positively in Nottingham last week as Hull took a 3-1 first period lead, ended poorly in an 8-4 defeat leaving player-coach Cloutier far from happy.

His team welcome a Panthers side who, like Sheffield Steelers last weekend, were embarrassed by a 2-1 home defeat to the league’s bottom club Edinburgh Capitals, now sitting just one point behind Hull.

It’s likely Stingrays will encounter some kind of backlash from a Panthers side pushing hard for a first Elite League title. But Cloutier is looking for some kind of positive response from his players after his criticism of their own performance at the NIC last Sunday.

“We need to be more consistent, no doubt about it,” said Cloutier. “It’s a combination of things that helps bring that about, preparing yourself properly for the game, sticking to the gameplan and it is a mental thing as well, making sure you play for 60 minutes.

“We started really well at Nottingham, but the last period was poor.

“Nottingham will be looking to bounce back after that loss to the Capitals but neither that or the Steelers result surprised me because Edinburgh have a good team.”

Hull face another tough task on Monday night when they welcome Belfast Giants to the Hull Arena in the first leg of the Challenge Cup quarter-final.