NETMINDER Ben Bowns said Hull Stingrays would love nothing better than defying the odds by beating Belfast Giants in Northern Ireland tonight.
Tonight’s match at the Odyssey Arena doubles up as an Elite League match and the second leg of the Challenge Cup quarter-final, in which the Giants hold a 3-1 advantage after the first leg in Hull on December 17.
Sylvain Cloutier’s Hull will go into the game in buoyant mood after ending a seven-game losing streak with Thursday night’s 1-0 home win over Edinburgh Capitals. That result came on the back of a gritty 2-1 defeat in overtime at Cardiff Devils last Sunday – an outcome which ended Hull’s wait to take points off one of the league’s top five teams.
A no-nonsense approach in last Saturday’s 4-2 home defeat to Sheffield Steelers has also seen confidence return to the Hull camp, said Bowns, who recorded his first shut-out at Elite League level against Edinburgh.
“It would be awesome if we could go to Belfast and prove everybody wrong,” said Bowns.
“It will be very difficult, we know that. But if we can put together the kind of performances we have in the last three games and maybe get an early goal then who knows what might happen?”
Belfast – currently sitting second in the overall league standings – have won all three meetings with Hull this season but, on each occasion, the Stingrays have given themselves a chance to win.
“Since we lost 8-4 at Nottingham we’ve become a lot tighter unit,” added Bowns. “We played pretty much the perfect game against Edinburgh on Thursday and we need to do the same in Belfast to give ourselves any chance.”