Stingrays on cusp of ‘great achievement’

Sylvain Cloutier believes qualifcation for the Challenge Cup quarter-finals would represent a major achievement for Hull Stingrays.

A win at Cardiff Devils tonight would ensure Hull reach the last eight at the expense of their hosts, causing something of a surprise.

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A 7-5 victory over Cardiff in the competition earlier in the season has put the East Yorkshire club into position to progress alongside Coventry Blaze, Nottingham Panthers and new Group B leaders Sheffield Steelers, who last night confirmed their last eight spot with a comprehensive 7-2 victory at home to Coventry, with Colin Shields scoring his second hat-trick in three games.

“It’s the biggest game of the season so far for us,” said Cloutier. “You look at this group we are in and we are by far the smallest club in there. So to make it out of this group would be a great achievement.”

Cardiff will be without forwards Max Bribraer and Devin Didiomete who are suspended.