Stingrays out to strengthen play-off prospects

HULL, UK – Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier knows Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays can go a long way to securing an Elite League play-off place with victory over Fife Flyers at Hull Arena tomorrow night (7.30pm face-off).

Sylvain Cloutier (2)

Sylvain Cloutier – file photo by Stingrays photographer Arthur Foster

Stingrays go into the Gardiner Conference clash buoyed by their stunning 5-1 home win over Sheffield Steelers on Saturday while Flyers are one of the in-form teams in the league having picked up 15 points from the last 18.

Victory for Stingrays would see them move on to 50 points – which would be a club-record number in the Elite League – and five clear of Flyers, who will have one game in hand.

Flyers, though, have beaten Stingrays in the last two meetings, with an aggregate score of 14-5, and Cloutier is well aware of the challenge they pose.

Cloutier said: “We need to find a way to beat them because Fife have had our number in the last couple of games. They are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. They compete every night and work hard. Stewy [Danny Stewart] is leading from the front and the other players are following his lead.

“We just have to take it one shift, one period and one game at a time. We have to compete for 60 minutes and stay focused to give ourselves a chance. It is another big game but we need to keep the pressure on them. We want to keep climbing and finish as high as we can. We can take one step closer to the play-offs if we can pick up the win.”

Great Britain goaltender Ben Bowns, man of the match in the win over Steelers, says the last two defeats to Flyers are still fresh in his mind.

He said: “Fife are a good team and I think they have been under-estimated a little bit this season. They are high on confidence and dangerous.

“It is still in my head [the home loss to Fife last month], it was one of those games when we were just fatigued. We had played a lot of games in a short period of time. They also beat us heavily in Fife.

“But this time we have only played once over the last three weekends, we will be a lot fresher and those games will be used as motivation. But most importantly we need the two points.”

Leave a Comment