HULL STINGRAYS owner Bobby McEwan is refusing to get too carried away despite seeing his team create a new club record of six straight wins.
A 4-2 win over Dundee Stars at Hull Arena on Saturday night ensured a first win over their Scottish rivals this season – following four one-goal losses – and extended the Stingrays’ lead at the top of the Gardiner Conference to four points.
Hull did do things the hard way, however, falling behind at 3.35 to a powerplay marker from Nikita Kashirsky before Jereme Tendler, back in the line-up after three matches out with a groin injury, set-up league leading scorer Guillaume Doucet to fire home on a 5-on-3 powerplay at 6.37.
In a scrappy second period, the next goal took a while coming, but again it was the hosts who found themselves behind when Nico Sacchetti put the Stars back in front at 37.11.
The home side huffed and puffed as they came out for the third with more intensity, Tendler hit the pipes, while Stars netminder Dan Bakala made a string of big saves.
But it was from a rebound that Hull’s leveller deservedly came in the 52nd minute, Bakala parrying an effort to player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, who poked home into an empty net.
After a swift counter-attack saw Hull break into Dundee’s Zone, they got themselves ahead for the first time in the match, defenceman Omar Pacha blasting high past Bakala’s left shoulder to make it 3-2 at 53.21.
The Stars pushed hard to restore parity, but rarely tested Ben Bowns in the Hull net, before defenceman Pavel Gomeniuk sealed an overdue triumph against the Taysiders with an empty-net strike with just 54 seconds left.
With a trip to Braehead on Sunday night, Hull will face a tough task extending their winning streak to seven games – although they go to Glasgow with little fear having already beaten Ryan Finnerty’s team in all five previous meetings between the two sides this season.
McEwan, who also doubles up as Cloutier’s assistant coach running the bench on match nights, said his team’s current run was phenomenal, but refused to get drawn into talk of winning the Gardiner Conference.
“We’ve been getting bodies back into the line-up and we’re on a roll right now,” said McEwan. “Obviously it is now six games on a roll and, not surprisingly, the guys are happy. Winning games breeds confidence.
“I don’t even want to think about winning the Gardiner Conference - our target at the start of the season was to finish eighth in the league.
“Long-term, we’ve got a five-year plan but, for the moment, all we are doing is taking each game as it comes along.
“Braehead were the favourites for the Conference at the start of the season but, so far, we’ve had the hoodoo on them. Taking two points against Dundee keeps the bandwagon rolling and gives our boys added incentive to go in to Braehead and continue this run.”