Stingrays stun stuttering Blaze

COVENTRY BLAZE'S owners may regret stepping in to rescue Hull Stingrays in the summer after their 'second' club returned to Yorkshire from the Skydome Arena with a 3-1 Elite League victory.

The stunning triumph for Sylvain Cloutier's side - revitalised since the arrival of former NHL defenceman Drew Bannister - was their second victory at Coventry, following a 5-1 Challenge Cup victory there last month.

It stretched Hull's winning run to three games following victories over Coventry's title rivals Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers last weekend.

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With last season's top scorer Konstantin Kalmikov injured and Lee Mitchell (knee) ruled out until January, Hull travelled to their bosses' barn light on firepower but it did not stop them taking the lead in the 13th minute through Jason Silverthorn.

Dan Carlson levelled for the home side four minutes into the second period but Hull proved a good match for their illustrious hosts, regaining the lead at 47.57 through captain Kurtis Dulle.

And, as Coventry pulled goalie Brett Jaeger to provide an extra attacker, Andrew Coburn found the empty net to secure another unexpected two points for the visitors and a seventh league defeat of the season for Paul Thompson's side.

"Give the guys credit, they battled hard and had to kill a lot of penalties," said former Blaze captain Cloutier afterwards.

"We have had a very tough schedule. You are always looking to steal some points from the big teams but to get six from the last three games is a great effort and it's all credit to the guys, they are the ones going out there and producing.

"The guys have worked hard and are competing and it is a confident dressing room right now. They are starting to believe."

Sheffield Steelers took a first period lead through powerplay goals from Neil Clark and Ashley Tait but they slipped to fourth in the table after allowing Cardiff Devils to come back and win 3-2 in South Wales.

Tyler Michel halved the deficit at 24.46 and that was how it stayed until just under five minutes in the third - which was substantially delayed while a hole in the ice was frantically repaired.

Brad Voth got his team back on level terms at 44.40, before departing on a game misconduct at 46.24. That setback had little impact on the home side, however, when Scott Matzka scored the game-winner at 52.19.

In the EPL, Sheffield Steeldogs made it two wins on the trot when they closed the gap on rivals Telford Tigers with a 6-4 win over the Shropshir club.