Delight for Cloutier as Hull top Conference

NORTHERN DELIGHTS: Hull Stingrays' player-coach Sylvain Cloutier. Picture: Arthur Foster.
NORTHERN DELIGHTS: Hull Stingrays' player-coach Sylvain Cloutier. Picture: Arthur Foster.
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ICE HOCKEY: Hull Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier heaped praise on his injury-hit team after they moved top of the Gardiner Conference in the Elite League following a profitable weekend on the road in Scotland.

Hull were able to add to the point gained in a 4-3 shoot-out loss to Fife Flyers on Saturday with two more points following a 5-4 win at Edinburgh Capitals last night, when they were down to just 11 skaters due to a combination of injuries to key players and unavailability.

Level on points with second-placed Braehead Clan, who have a game in hand, Hull can strengthen their position in the northern group with games against Dundee Stars and Edinburgh coming up in the next six days.

“I am so proud of those guys, I could not have asked for any more,” said Cloutier.

“To get three points this weekend was incredible. In the circumstances it is even more rewarding as to pull something like that off does not happen too often. The guys deserve all the credit.”

Hull found themselves 4-1 ahead before the halfway mark at Murrayfield last night with goals from Jason Silverthorn, Jereme Tendler (2) and Kyle Mariani.

Edinburgh got back to 4-3, but Guiilaume Doucet scored what proved the game-winner at 35.41.

On Saturday, Stingrays who had Pavel Gomeniuk in the line-up but were without Bobby Chamberlain, fell behind to a Jordan Fulton goal at 2.22.

But they levelled on the powerplay through Doucet at 11.21 before Silverthorn put them ahead with 55 seconds of the first period remaining.

But two goals at the start of the second period from Justin DaCosta (21.58 powerplay) and Kyle Haines (27.26) saw Flyers lead once more.

Stingrays forward Tom Squires was then taken to hospital after receiving a puck to the face while on the bench at 31.49 while teenager Sam Towner was also hit in the face by the puck which brought a premature end to his night.

Tendler snapped a five-game run without a goal by making it a 3-3 game at 34.04 and after overtime failed to find a winner, the game went to penalty shots.

Flyers’ Tim Hartung and Doucet scored in the first round and in sudden death Carl Lauzon and Hartung converted before the latter ensured the extra point for the home side with his third successful shot.

Following Sunday’s win in Edinburgh, Tendler said he was pleased to have ended a rare five-game barren spell without scoring by finding the net on both nights north of the border.

“It felt good to get back on the scoresheet,” said Tendler. “I was on a little slump but I was getting the opportunities.

“I kept shooting the puck and managed to get a few this weekend to help the team which is all that matters.

“It was a great weekend for the team. We had two tough conference games on the road, but we showed a lot of character after we lost a few guys.”