Stingrays’ Lake eyes more prominent role

BRITISH forward Ryan lake is hoping to have more impact after agreeing a new deal with Hull Stingrays.

The 27-year-old Hull-born winger spent four years out of the game after becoming disillusioned with the sport when he had last played with the Stingrays back in 2006.

After impressing player-coach Sylvain Cloutier enough to earn a deal for last season, however, Lake - who has also skated more than 60 top-flight games for Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steelers - is determined to have a more prominent role this time around.

He was named the club’s Best British Player at the end-of-season awards dinner after posting five goals and five assists in 46 games and is likely to get his wish of more ice time with Cloutier already making it clear he expects added input from his homegrown players during the 2011-12 season.

“I may not have played as much as I would have liked (last season), but I understand why as I hadn’t played for a few years and Clouts wanted to have a good look at me,” said Lake.

“But I hope I showed people I can still compete when I got the chance. I am hoping to play more this season and score more goals.

“I believe the team has been improved on from last year and we have added more size which is important, especially when you go on the road. When you go to places like Cardiff and Nottingham, you can’t be intimidated.”

Cloutier added: “Laker came back last season after some time off and I know what that is like.

“But I thought he did a good job for us. He will get more chances to play next season and I am expecting more from him.

“He might not be the biggest guy out there, but he plays as if he is 6ft 2in. You know what you get with Laker.

“He is a Hull kid, he is proud to play for his home team and he wants his home team to be successful.”