Stingrays coach asks for patience as Hull look for revenge

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PATIENCE will be key for any swift revenge Hull Stingrays can hope to exact when they visit Braehead Clan on Saturday night.

It will be the third time in seven days the two sides have met, with Braehead 2-1 up in the eight-game series against Hull having won twice in East Yorkshire already this season, the second of those victories coming in a deserved 7-2 success against an out-of-sorts Stingrays on Thursday night.

Many peoples pre-season favourites for the Gardiner Conference title, Braehead have encountered more problems than expected so far this season, with Hull currently top of the standings.

But an impressive display in Hull on Thursday gave a glimpse into what Jordan Krestanovich’s team are capable of, although Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier is convinces his team - who beat Braehead 6-4 on home ice last Sunday - have the tools at their disposal to win on their first visit of the season to Glasgow.

“We’ve been playing really well and competing all season and Thursday just seemed like we weren’t there - nobody was there,“ said Cloutier, who hopes his players will benefit from an early arrival at the team hotel in Glasgow on Saturday. “There isn’t one guy on that team who could say they showed up on Thursday.

“I wouldn’t say Braehead have the edge over us (after Thursday). I think we’re pretty even. They’ve got a lot of talent, probably more than we do but if we play hard and compete there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get a win.

“We can’t afford to go end to end with them, they’ve got too much talent and too much firepower. So we’ve got to take care of our own end first and get ‘D’ side of the puck.

“You will get turnovers against that team because they get fancy and they try to go through the middle - we just have to be patient.”

On their first whole weekend away of the season, Hull will make the short trip east on Sunday to face Edinburgh Capitals, although Cloutier said it was far from guaranteed his team would repeat the success they enjoyed on their previous visit two weeks ago.

Since then, the Scottish club - bottom in both Elite League and Conference standings - have added depth to their line-up with the signings of utility man Curtis Leinweber and defenceman Brent Patry, something Cloutier believes will make them an even more difficult proposition at Murrayfield Ice Arena.

“It isgoing to be a different team that we see this time in Edinburgh,” added Cloutier. “They’ve signed two new players and added some depth to their line-up. They gave Coventry a tough time for a long time earlier this week and at home they are always a good team - they pushed Sheffield all the way there last Sunday.

“They are not a last-placed team.”

Stingrays will have to wait to whether forward Jason Silverthorn is available for the weekend in Scotland after the 32-year-old played was forced off at the end of the first period against Braehead with a leg injury.