Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Hull Stingrays 6-4 Braehead Clan

FBB Three Stars
1. Matty Davies (1+0)
2. Guillaume Doucet (2+0)
3. Sam Towner (0+1)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dramatic Stingrays comeback seals the win against Cardiff

Hull Stingrays 5 - 3 Cardiff Devils

A determined fightback from the Hull Stingrays saw them claim a valuable two points from an in-form Cardiff Devils side.

Having conceded three goals inside the first 10 minutes of the game, the Stingrays demonstrated their offensive prowess, posting five unanswered goals to complete an unlikely comeback.

The Stingrays - missing injured forward Jason Silverthorn and utility player Kyle Mariani - fell behind in just the first minute of the game, with Devils' sharpshooter Mac Faulkner converting on a penalty shot opportunity, firing low past Ben Bowns.

In a period dominated by Cardiff, the Devils laid siege on the Stingrays net with 18 shots, and it was no more than they deserved when Finnish forward Markus Rama doubled their lead shortly after the five minute mark with his first goal of the season.

The Stingrays' misery was further compounded by a Matt Myers strike following a turnover in Hull's defensive zone, leaving the home side with a huge ask to claw the game back against a team who had won seven of their last eight league outings.

A powerplay strike from Jereme Tendler - firing home in trademark fashion from an acute angle - offered the home team a glimmer of hope shortly before the end of the first period.

The away side began the second period again the stronger of the two sides, but this time netminder Ben Bowns and his defence were able to keep the Devils out. A vital strike from Guillaume Doucet saw the Stingrays pull to within just one goal of the Devils heading into the third period, with the Stingrays picking up momentum as the game progressed.

The clash became a feisty affair, with Devils defenceman Brad Plumton and Stingrays player/coach Sylvain Cloutier picking up roughing penalties after a scramble following the goal. Stingrays forward Matty Davies also picked up a penalty shortly afterwards on a charging call.

The niggly theme to the second stanza was to continue in the third, with referee Mike Hicks handing out 24 minutes worth of minor penalties. A two-goal blitz inside 69 seconds from the Stingrays swung the momentum their way, first with defenceman Omar Pacha firing past Devils netminder Kamil Kosowski after skating in from the point, followed by Matty Davies with a close-range finish on the powerplay.

A melee at the 14-minute mark resulted in a total of six players - Sylvain Cloutier, Pavel Gomeniuk, Martin Ondrej, Max Birbraer, Matt Myers and Brad Plumton - all sitting for minor roughing penalties.

Cardiff continued to apply pressure on Ben Bowns, but a resolute display from the Great Britain netminder kept his team's one-goal advantage leading into the final stages. A precise finish from Guillaume Doucet extended the Stingrays' lead with less than three minutes to go, firing a sharp wrist shot high past Kosowski.

The Devils - who remained camped in their offensive zone for the final minutes of the game - were unable to add to their three goals, despite a 6-on-4 advantage having pulled their netminder for the extra outskater.

The result sees the Stingrays increase their league tally to 44 points, remaining in sixth place.

Hull face their Gardiner Conference rivals, the Fife Flyers, in Kirkcaldy tomorrow night.

FBB Three Stars
1. Omar Pacha (1+3)
2. Guillaume Doucet (2+0)
3. Ben Bowns (40 saves)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Stingrays make it two-in-two over Nottingham in Hull

Hull Stingrays 4-3 Nottingham Panthers 

The Hull Stingrays tonight made it two wins from two successive games at Hull Arena against the Nottingham Panthers as they defeated the Erhardt Conference side 4-3 after penalty shots.

FBB Three Stars
1. Ben Bowns (35 saves)
2. Guillaume Doucet (1+1)
3. Jereme Tendler (2+0)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stingrays well beaten by Fife

Hull Stingrays 3-7 Fife Flyers

The Hull Stingrays were tonight well beaten by Gardiner Conference rivals the Fife Flyers losing out by seven goals to three live on Premier Sports.

More soon....

FBB Three Stars
1. Carl Lauzon
2. Martin Ondrej
3. Bobby Chamberlain

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Point in Cardiff ensures Stingrays retain sixth place

Cardiff Devils 2-1 Hull Stingrays

The Hull Stingrays tonight ensured they claimed three points from an available four this weekend as they took the Cardiff Devils to overtime and then a shootout before falling by two goals to one on sudden death penalty shots.

The Stingrays - without injured forward Jason Silverthorn - fell behind with just 28 seconds remaining in the first period thanks to a Mac Faulkner goal but Matty Davies struck with 91 seconds remaining in the second period to tie the game up.

A goalless but physical third period followed before the tie went into overtime and then penalty shots.

First round shootout goals from Jereme Tendler and Jake Morrisette and misses from Guillaume Doucet, Max Birbraer, Carl Lauzon and Tomas Kurka then saw penalty shots progress into sudden death.

Tendler and Morrisette missed their sudden death attempts before a miss from Doucet - who produced a massive shootout goal to give the Stingrays the shootout win in Cardiff earlier in the season - allowed Birbraer to claim the extra point for a resurgent Cardiff side.

The incredibly hard fought and valuable point for the Stingrays narrows the deficit between them and Cardiff in eighth to just one point.

Following Coventry's win in Nottingham tonight the Stingrays are now just three points behind the fifth place Panthers, however, they are also now equal on 40 points with the Blaze in sixth place in a tightly packed Elite League.

Nevertheless, shootout loss ensures the gap between the Rays and Fife Flyers in ninth spot in the Elite League is 12 points - down from 13 points last night after Fife's triumph over Edinburgh this evening.

Sylvain Cloutier's side return to action live on Premier Sports on Wednesday night against the Flyers at Hull Arena before two Erhardt Conference fixtures in Belfast and at home to Nottingham next weekend.

Match Highlights: Hull Stingrays 4-1 Fife Flyers

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Stingrays stop the rot with first victory in three games

Hull Stingrays 4-1 Fife Flyers

The Hull Stingrays tonight battled to their first victory in three games and third win of the season against the Fife Flyers, defeating their Gardiner Conference rivals by four goals to one at the Hull Arena.

Doubles from Guillaume Doucet and Jereme Tendler would seal the victory for the Stingrays in a scrappy and chippy affair all around.

Martin Ondrej set the tone for what would be a penalty strewn first period dishing out a needless facewash to a Flyer just 18 seconds in after his opponent came in towards netminder Ben Bowns after a whistle.

Constant pest Jordan Fulton would then level things up with a slashing penalty on 39 seconds and would take a further slashing penalty three minutes later to ensure he sat four of the opening six minutes. Overall, referee Neil Wilson - who struggled to control the game early on - distributed 20 minutes of minor penalties in the opening period - ensuring practically the whole period was played on special teams.

That, of course, was not necessarily Wilson's fault as there was a clear undercurrent of cheap niggles from both sides. Indeed, on one shift in particular Flyer enforcer Matt Nickerson did appear to turn his attentions to Jeff Smith - whom he fought earlier in the season - however the Stingrays captain didn't appear interested in discussing any potential re-match.

Ultimately, the lengthy first period - thanks to the sheer number of penalty stoppages - passed without a goal, however, despite losing alternate captain Jason Silverthorn to a first period injury, it would the Stingrays just 1.09 of second period to open the scoring.

An interference penalty on Derek Roehl late in the first period carried over allowing the Stingrays to score the only powerplay goal of the game on 14 attempts between the two sides as Doucet reacted quickest to a rebound which fell his way in the slot to beat Kevin Regan in the Flyers net.

Less than five minutes later the Flyers would equalise through a three-on-two, as a cross ice pass from Roehl jumped over the stick of defenceman Ondrej and fell straight to Ned Lukacevic - who beat Bowns at the backpost.

The Stingrays outshot their opponents 15-6 in the second period despite having to kill three penalties to the Flyers none and Carl Lauzon - who put in a great 60 minute shift for the Stingrays - came closest to restoring the Rays lead as he rang a shot off the post following a trademark individual effort.

Less than a minute before the end of the second period the Stingrays would take an important lead as Kyle Mariani charged the puck into the zone - taking a Flyer out with him - before feeding the puck to Doucet - who netted his second goal of the evening and seventh goal in five games against the Flyers this season after going forehand, backhand.

In contrast to the first period, third and final period passed with just four minor penalties as the Flyers offence tried but failed to find the net - as has been their main problem this season condemning them to their third loss in five games against Sylvain Clotuier's side this season.

Jereme Tendler - who was the subject of a transfer bid from the Sheffield Steelers during the week - added two late empty net goals to complete what was far from a perfect Stingrays performance but was certainly the perfect result and perfect tonic for a club that had lost three games in a row - having previously won six on the bounce.

The victory maintains the Stingrays sixth place and their slender one point advantage over the Coventry Blaze in seventh and two point advantage over the Cardiff Devils. Perhaps most encouraging, the win extends the Stingrays lead over Fife - in ninth and the final playoff spot - to an massive 13 points with just two months of the season and 15 games remaining.

The Rays remain atop the Gardiner Conference on 33 points, four points ahead of the Dundee Stars in second - having played four more games - and five points ahead of the Braehead Clan in third - having played two more fixtures.

They face the Cardiff Devils on Sunday night in South Wales before taking on Fife at the Hull Arena for the second time in four days on Wednesday at the revised time of 7pm - live on Premier Sports

FBB Three Stars
1. Carl Lauzon (0+1)
2. Ben Bowns (28 saves)
3. Guillaume Doucet (2+0)

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Panthers come from behind to defeat Stingrays

Nottingham Panthers 6-4 Hull Stingrays

The Hull Stingrays tonight fell agonisingly short of a famous victory in Nottingham, leading the Panthers 4-2 after 30 minutes only to lose 6-4 to the reigning Elite League champions.

Sylvain Cloutier's side held an unlikely 3-2 lead into the first intermission thanks to a Carl Lauzon double and a Jereme Tendler goal, with Nottingham's markers coming from Matt Ryan and David Clarke.

The Rays extended their lead to two goals on 23.56 as Guillaume Doucet notched a powerplay goal, however, the Panthers comeback 10 minutes later as Robert Lachowicz narrowed the deficit to one goal.

Crucially, Clarke then popped up for the second time in the match and levelled the scores with just over three minutes remaining in the period.

The Stingrays - who were outshot 43-23 overall - were able to fire just five shots on Panthers netminder Craig Kowalski in the final period as Lachowicz recorded the game winning goal with less than ten minutes remaining in the game before Petr Kalus added a sixth with less than 30 seconds remaining.

The defeat is the Stingrays third in a row following their seven game win streak and Cloutier will be hoping to halt losing run with a big weekend coming up next week against the Cardiff Devils and Fife Flyers - who both rivals for the final couple of playoff spots.

Stingrays release Squires

The Hull Stingrays have today announced the release of British forward Tom Squires.

The 23 year old forward has been sidelined since 7th December when he was hit in the face by a puck while sat on the bench during the Stingrays shootout triumph in Fife.

The incident saw him rushed to A&E and receive internal and external stitches on his eye, however, the resulting blood clot on his eye has remained and he has been out of action since.

It is believed that the Brit was nearing a return to action and that his release was based on both his form - with Sam Towner ably slotting in on the third line during his absence - and the Stingrays financial circumstances - with the club unwilling to ice a player of Squires experience as 10th forward.  The timing of the release will also allow Squires to find a new club prior to the upcoming transfer deadline.

Prior to the injury Squires - who recorded seven goals and 19 assists in 44 games last season having joined from English Premier League side the Sheffield Steeldogs - had been struggling for form on the club's third line, recording just one assist in 25 games this season.

UPDATE: The Sheffield Steeldogs confirmed the re-signing of hometown forward Squires on Wednesday 29th January. He returns to the club whom he originally joined the Stingrays from partway through last season.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Blaze bring Stingrays crashing back down to earth

Hull Stingrays 1-6 Coventry Blaze

Less than a week after their club record six game unbeaten run came to an end, the Hull Stingrays saw their seven game unbeaten home run end in disappointing fashion as they were thrashed 6-1 by the Coventry Blaze.

Trailing after one period thanks to Ryan Ginand's first period powerplay goal, it was the Blaze top line of Ashley Tait, Michael Henrich and Adam Henrich that did the damage to the Stingrays in the second and third period. The trio combined for four goals and six assists in the final 40 minutes with new signing Kelsey Wilson's 36th minute goal the only marker that didn't involve one of the trio.

GB international Tait helped himself to two second period goals and three assists overall while Adam Henrich bagged two third period goals and an assist.

The Stingrays outshot the Blaze 19-9 in the second period, however, despite outplaying their opponents, they found themselves 4-1 down, and that after Sylvain Cloutier's shorthanded goal on 38.36.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Unbeaten run ends as Stingrays lose in Glasgow

Braehead Clan 3-0 Hull Stingrays

A goal in each period from the Braehead Clan in Glasgow tonight ended the Hull Stingrays club record six game unbeaten run as they ran out victors by three goals to nil.

Ryan Finnerty's side - who have been defeated by the Stingrays in all five meetings this season - will have been eager to end their torrid run against their opponents and opened the scoring in an even first period through Matt Towe on 17.24.

The Clan took further control of the game in the second - outshooting the Rays 10-6 - and they would score again late in the period with Shane Lust doubling their lead at a crucial time with less than two minutes remaining in the second.

In a disciplined 60 minutes from both sides that produced only three minor penalties - two for the Clan and one for the Rays - the Clan registered their third goal of the game on their only powerplay of the game through Joel Champagne on 46.53.

That would be enough for Braehead to register their first win of the season against the Stingrays at their sixth attempt, thus ending the club record unbeaten run at six games.

Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier will be delighted with his sides magnificent performances during the run and, equally, the characteristics they side have shown over the last three weeks to maintain the streak despite not playing their best hockey at times.

He will now be focused on ensuring his side do not dwell on the loss and rebound as soon as possible in order to maintain their sixth position in the Elite League and their charge for top spot in Gardiner Conference - which was their primary goal at the beginning of the season.

After returning a 5-1 record from six consecutive conference games to solidify their charge for the conference title, the Stingrays return to action against Erhardt Conference sides next weekend as they take on the Coventry Blaze at home on Saturday and Nottingham Panthers away from home on Sunday.

Match Higlights: Hull Stingrays 4-2 Dundee Stars

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Third period blitz helps Stingrays extend club record unbeaten run to six games

Hull Stingrays 4-2 Dundee Stars

The Hull Stingrays tonight extended their club record unbeaten run in the Elite League to six games, beating Gardiner Conference rivals the Dundee Stars for the first time this season by four goals to two.

In front of one of the largest crowds of the season at the Hull Arena, the Stingrays tested the superstitions imposed thanks to their recent winning streak by changing their lineup to include forward Jereme Tendler - following a spell on the sidelines with a groin injury.

The Canadian - who still didn't appear 100% fit throughout the game - would be involved in the Stingrays first goal of the night but not before second placed Stars took the lead.

With Pavel Gomeniuk sitting a two minute minor penalty for a blatant infringement in the Stars zone during a Rays man advantage, danger man Nikita Kashirsky was given three bites at a rebound in front of Ben Bowns before eventually bundling home the opening on the powerplay after 3.35.

A response was not long in coming though and - despite both sides struggling to maintain puck possession in the offensive zone on the man advantage - the Stingrays equaliser would also come on the powerplay.

For once the home side were able to instill some calm to their build up and puck as both Jerry Pollastrone and Nico Sacchetti sat minor penalties giving them a crucial five-on-three. Gomeniuk made up for his earlier error by feeding the puck to Tendler - who in turn fired a cross crease pass for Elite League leading scorer Guillaume Doucet to one time past netminder Dan Bakala and level the score at 1-1 after just 6.37

Despite what may seem like an entertaining start to the game, both sides had made a relatively flat, scrappy start with Dundee edging the opening period overall and that would continue into the second period.

Jeff Hutchins side - who have been the Elite League's surprise package so far this season - would take a lead into the third period. That would largely be thanks to a moment of misfortune for netminder Bowns - who would face a routine shot from his left face-off circle by Stars forward Sacchetti, only for that shot to handcuff the netminder and slip between his nearside arm and body.

The goal handed the Stars a pivotal advantage heading into the third period, however, to say that that advantage was solely down to Bowns' mistake would be incredibly cruel on a netminder who has performed heroics during the club's winning run.

More to the point, the Stingrays had been far from their best - as had Dundee - and required some improvement to get themselves back into the game.

Knowing that they were still well within a shout of winning such a crucial conference game - not least to further extending their winning streak - the Stingrays came out all guns blazing in the third period.

While it was far from the most free flowing offensive hockey ever seen, it was mighty effective against the Stars and was by far as dominant and purposeful as either side had been in the game.

The Stingrays simply didn't let up and, after the puck slipped off the end of Matty Davies' stick when presented with net to aim at and Tendler rang the cross bar, they finally got their reward.

Once again Doucet was picked out hovering at the back post - this time by linemate Carl Lauzon - only for Bakala to seeming stop the French-Canadian's bullet of a one-timer on this occasion. However, the shot squirmed out of the netminders body and dropped to the ice, allowing player-coach Sylvain Cloutier to prod home the equaliser and send the large but unusually quiet home fans into a frenzy on 51.55.

Cloutier's side weren't done there though and less than two minutes later struck gold on their mission for a sixth successive win as, on a three-on-two, Tendler dropped the puck to defenceman Omar Pacha - who was given what seemed like all the time in the world to pick his spot and rifle it past Bakala for a 3-2 Stingrays lead.

There would be no turning back for the Stingrays and they closed out the remaining minutes with ease as the Stars mustered just five shots to their 21 in the third period offensive blitz.

Gomeniuk - who's penalty earlier had proven so costly - sealed the win and the Stingrays club record sixth win in a row with an empty net goal from his own zone with less than 60 seconds left on the clock.

It has to be said that the Stingrays have at times played far better hockey this season and lost. That they can now play what some might term as below par but then come good when it really matters in the third period is a testament to the team Cloutier has built.

While the Rays will be all too aware that one swallow doesn't make a summer and there are still two and a half months of highs and lows remaining this season, whatever the outcome of the season, they can be mightily proud of setting a record that many Stingrays fans will have never have dreamt was possible.

The Stingrays - who sit four points clear at the top of the Gardiner Conference and sixth in the Elite League, just four points from second - now take their six match unbeaten run back up to Scotland to take on the Braehead Clan for the third time in eight days hoping to make it seven.

FBB Three Stars
1. Omar Pacha (1+0)
2. Ben Bowns (23 saves)
3. Sylvain Cloutier (1+1)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Silverthorn double helps Stingrays set new club record for consecutive wins

Hull Stingrays 3-1 Braehead Clan

The Hull Stingrays tonight set a club record for consecutive victories in the Elite League as they notched up their fifth win in a row with a 3-1 victory over Gardiner Conference rivals the Braehead Clan.

Without Jereme Tendler for the third successive game, the Stingrays struggled to settle the puck in a scrappy but somewhat frentic opening five minutes.

Ryan Finnerty's side had clearly come to East Yorkshire with the intention of halting a run that has seen the Clan lose all five of their fixtures against the Stingrays this season and that worked well early on as the won all of the key battles across the ice.

Nevertheless, after both sides failed to impress on their opening powerplays of the game, Stingrays forward Jason Silverthorn popped up on the games third man advantage, worked his way towards the Clan net and, somehow, roofed the puck past Clan netminder Kyle Jones from close in when, not for one second did it appear possible.

Two and a half minutes after Silverthorn's 9th minute opener though the Clan were level. Hard work down low from now veteran forward-turned-defenceman Kevin Bergin leading to a wraparound that would produce an inviting rebound for standout forward Ed McGrane to bury past Ben Bowns.

In truth, the goal was no more than the Clan deserved for their efforts in disturbing the Stingrays offence in the opening period and that would be a theme throughout the first and second periods.

Despite Michael Hicks distributing a fair number of powerplays in the middle stanza - neither side would be able to convert during a scrappy, disjointed period from both sides.

That was equally the case in the third and final period and, in fact, it would be a Clan powerplay that would eventually produce the pivotal moment in the game in favour of the Stingrays.

Five minutes into the third period the Clan found themselves on the powerplay thanks to a Jeff Smith cross-checking penalty. On the ensuing powerplay Braehead gave opening goalscorer Silverthorn - who innocuously skated in almost on his own - time and space before the 33 year old tightly turned in towards their net and, once again, somehow found a space between Jones' pads and the post to notch his second of the night.

In a matter of minutes the Clan had gone from having very little threat on their goal whatsoever and a powerplay opportunity to conceding what has to be classed as a brilliant, improbable finish from a Stingrays point of view but a completely avoidable and costly one from a Clan point of view, leaving Finnerty none too pleased.

Ultimately the goal would cost the Clan - who had fought so hard to disrupt the Stingrays style of play with a defensive pressure - dear as they handed the initiative and momentum to the Stingrays - who had generally struggled to generate many real scoring chances.

The Clan were now forced to chase the game with time ticking down and that played perfectly into the Stingrays hands. As the Clan opened up offensively so did the game as Nikolai Ladygin was put in the unfamiliar but perfect position to receive a breakaway pass, only for Jones to stop the break.

Eventually though the more open game would lead to the Stingrays third and final goal as some quite brilliant playmaking and a blind pass from Carl Lauzon - who used his strength and then vision to pull a Clan defenceman and Clan netminder Jones out of position - set up leading scorer Guillaume Doucet for a simple tap in to secure the two points and the club record on 54.54.

For the third successive game netminder Bowns put in a solid performance between the pipes. The British keepers recent performances are fast presenting a case for the Great Britain starting job. In front of him, tonight's standout overally was defenceman Omar Pacha - who put in a determined, driven, committed outstanding overall performance both defensively and offensively. Meanwhile without Silverthorn's pinpoint goals there's a very good chance the Stingrays might not have found a way past Jones this evening given the way the Clan were playing defensively.

On top of setting a new club Elite League record for consecutive wins, the victory is also the Stingrays fifth over the Clan in five games - at the very least securing a winning record for Cloutier's side over the Clan this season.

Of course, the Stingrays will be hoping to continue their great run of form over the Clan on Sunday as they face Braehead for the third time in eight days hoping to make it six wins from six this season.

Prior to that on Saturday night the Stingrays take on a Dundee side whom they battling with for the Gardiner Conference title. The Rays are currently top of the conference following tonight's win with Dundee trailing by two points having played four fewer fixtures, they will be hoping to put further daylight between them and the Stars with a sixth consecutive win on Saturday night at Hull Arena

As well as ensuring their push for the Gardiner Conference continues, tonight's win maintains the Rays sixth position in the Elite League, now five points ahead of the Coventry Blaze in seventh and just two points behind the Clan in fifth.

The Stingrays are now also playing 500. hockey in the Elite League having win 16 of their 32 fixtures, an impressive achievement for Cloutier and the club.

FBB Three Stars
1. Jason Silverthorn (2+0)
2. Omar Pacha (0+0)
3. Carl Lauzon (0+1)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Four point weekend sees Stingrays match club record four straight wins

Edinburgh Capitals 3-4 Hull Stingrays (SO)

The Hull Stingrays tonight completed their second four point weekend in two weeks and third of the season as they followed up Saturday nights shootout win over Braehead with another 4-3 shootout win, this time over the Edinburgh Capitals. The victory also means the Stingrays have matched the club record for consecutive wins in the Elite League with four - which was set between 15th October 2006 and 29th October 2006.

Once again without Tom Squires and Jereme Tendler, the Stingrays got off to a good start in the Scottish capital, opening the scoring in the first ten minutes through Matty Davies' seventh goal of the year after the puck was won down low and fed to the club's leading British pointscorer in front to finish low past Tomas Hiadlovsky.

The Stingrays would take just one minor penalty in the first period and it told, as they outshot and outplayed Edinburgh in their best period of the game.

In front of a large crowd at Murrayfield - boosted by GroupOn offer - Edinburgh youngster Jay King - who received plenty of ice-time and did not look out of place on the night - equalised for the Capitals as they countered with his shot from the hash marks beating Ben Bowns in the Stingrays net somewhat softly.

Moments after the face-off following the Caps goal, Stingrays forward Kyle Mariani while chasing for the puck collided with netminder Hiadlovsky - who was way out of his net. The Slovakian stopper went down for a period of time as he has done previously in Hull but would return with no sign of ill-health, although he would later step in to Sam Towner when playing the puck behind the net much to his displeasure.

A great forecheck, counter and then net crash from the Stingrays third line would eventually lead to Michael Dobron taking the Caps first penalty of the night and the visitors would make the most of their first opportunity.

Guillaume Doucet and Sylvain Cloutier would first be stopped by two great saves from Hiadlovsky on separate occasions before a great Pavel Gomeniuk pass from the point to Jason Silverthorn in front would see the Canadian - who is regularly booed on his return to Edinburgh - spin and open up a deserved 2-1 lead on 12.28.

The Stingrays had chances to extend their lead towards the end of the first but, first, Doucet was denied by Hiadlovsky following a great set up from Matty Davies between a Caps defenceman's legs before the Caps netminder got a piece of Mariani's shot - deflecting it just over the crossbar.

With just one penalty taken in the first period, and that with just 36 seconds remaining, the Stingrays descended into penalty trouble for the final two periods taking eight minors - four in each period.

Those penalties broke up the game in the Caps favour, handing them all of the momentum and resulted in the Stingrays being outshot 11-6 and 8-3.

Remarkably though the Stingrays penalty kill dug in time and again, until Edinburgh finally leveled 9.57 into the third period through player-coach Richard Hartmann - who broke between the Rays D and beat Bowns on a breakaway as Haywood had 24 hours earlier.

Following unrelenting Caps pressure - which the Stingrays mostly brought on themselves through penalty trouble - the goal had been coming and was just rewards for their play.

Nevertheless, Cloutier's side persevered and on their only powerplay of the third period - in which they had just three shots - again took the lead as a Doucet wrist shot just beat Hiadlovsky and trickled across the line for a Stingrays 3-2 lead.

Spearheaded by Canadian forward Jade Portwood, Edinburgh came straight back at the Stingrays and, having called a time-out and pulled Hiadlovsky, piled the pressure on allowing Peter Holecko to score with just 1.19 left on the clock, sending the game into overtime.

The Stingrays fared somewhat better in overtime, comfortably killing an Edinburgh powerplay following Gomeniuk's fourth minor penatly of the evening, but could not find the all important opening.

The ensuing penalty shots lasted somewhat longer than the night prior as Omar Pacha and Carl Lauzon tallies were leveled up by goals from Portwood  - who took a puck to the face in overtime but would return to take part in the penalty shootout - and Dobron.

The shootout continued into sudden death before a majestic finish from Lauzon - who waited and waited before chipping the puck past Hiadlovsky - gave the Stingrays an advantage which Bowns would convert into the win with a save on Dobron.

The save completed a second brilliant match winning performance and second ever shootout win which he's won for his side from Bowns, while without Lauzon's clinical finishing - both in regulation and penalty shots - the result would have also been in doubt. Silverthorn, no doubt encouraged by the constant boos he received from his former fans, was also a driving force in the victory alongside Davies and Mariani.

Once again though, while the indiscipline and silly penalties in the second and third periods could've cost the Stingrays, they dug in defensively as a team - particularly on the penalty kill - and, despite not being at their best, claimed another invaluable Gardiner Conference and league victory.

The win maintains the Stingrays sixth place in the Elite League table, three points above the Coventry Blaze and eight points above the Cardiff Devils in the eighth and final playoff position, meanwhile they also sit second in the Gardiner Conference table - joint top on points with Dundee and five points ahead of Braehead.

The Stingrays are now riding a joint club record four game win streak and they can set a new record with a victory in Wednesday's home game with Braehead.

FBB Three Stars
1. Ben Bowns (26 saves)
2. Carl Lauzon (0+1, 2 shootout goals)
3. Jason Silverthorn (1+1)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Stingrays make it four from four against Braehead

Braehead Clan 3-4 Hull Stingrays (SO)

The Hull Stingrays tonight made it four wins from four over Gardiner Conference favourites the Braehead Clan tonight in Glasgow with a hard fought 4-3 shootout victory.

Without Tom Squires again and surprise absentee Jereme Tendler - who didn't travel to Scotland in order to rest an apparent groin strain - the Stingrays lined up with Guillaume Doucet, Carl Lauzon and Sylvain Cloutier as the clear first line, with Kyle Mariani filling in alongside Jason Silverthorn and Matty Davies on the second and Jeff Smith alongside Bobby Chamberlain and Sam Towner on the third.

It would be the club's top scorer Doucet that would get things started as the French-Canadian would again use his speed to pull a textbook move around the outside of the opposing D before beating Kyle Jones backhanded for a 1-0 lead after 6.08.

Sylvain Cloutier's side were performing well and arguably had the better chances with Jones coming up big against Ondrej and then Doucet - following an expert set up from Lauzon.

However, with the Stingrays playing some nice stuff and creating chances - particularly through Lauzon and Doucet - Clan defenceman Chris Frank took it upon himself to disrupt the Stingrays.

Having earlier face-washed Cloutier following a whistle, Frank first took a four minute penalty for roughing and cross checking Davies before he set Doucet in his targets. The Clan defenceman took it upon himself to rough up the Stingrays sniper way behind play and way after the whistle in what can only be assumed was a cheap tactic to eliminate Doucet from the game.

Frank wasn't penalised for the play but he and Jeff Smith would receive a delay of game minor at the end of the first as he skated towards Doucet again only this time to be intercepted by Stingrays captain as both square off.

After a poor start to the game, the Clan came out firing in the second and would go on to outshoot the Stingrays 20 to 7. However, despite their massive advantage in shots on goal, it would be the visitors that would lead thanks to a combination of match winning netminding and hard work defensively from the Stingrays.

It took the Clan 14.52 of the second period to finally level the scores through Neil Trimm - who beat Bowns on a rebound following a counter attack after the Rays third line lost the puck in the offensive zone.

The netminder would be forced to produce a number of good stops in the second as the Clan pushed forward particularly late in the second period with the Stingrays clearly on the ropes. It certainly appeared to be a case of when then Clan would take the lead before the end of the second rather than if.

However, to the Rays credit they stuck at it and, lo-and-behold, completely against the run of play and with a hint of luck, a counter attack from Omar Pacha and Davies led to a huge rebound for third line forward Chamberlain - who just about managed to fire home past an out of position Jones in the Clan net on 37.44.

The goal clearly gave the Stingrays confidence heading into the third period, however, the long awaited fight between irritant to the Stingrays Frank and Smith immediately from third period opening face-off - which was largely a nothing fight - appeared to give the Clan the momentum.

Immediately following the ensuing centre-ice face-off, the Clan's Sam Zajac picked a hole between the Rays D big enough for two double decker buses allowing Matt Haywood to race in on his former Sheffield Steeldogs teammate Bowns unopposed and bury the equaliser.

Chances fell to both sides in an even, end to end final period with Lauzon firing wide with Jones out of position and Davies opting to one-time pass instead of shoot when presented with a good opening for the Stingrays.

But with 4.03 remaining in the game Pavel Gomeniuk would take a costly tripping penalty allowing the Clan to take the lead for the first time through defenceman Kenton Smith with less than three minutes remaining.

It appeared to be game over for the Stingrays - who had fought so hard to hold off the Clan - however, there would be one final twist.

Having called a time-out with 1.13 remaining, Doucet would work the puck down low with his combination of skill and strength before setting up a one-timer from Lauzon near the opposite face-off circle that would beat Jones and level the score with just 63 seconds remaining.

Player-coach Cloutier and his squad will have undoubtedly been delighted with a point from their trip to Braehead, however, following a scoreless and mostly uneventful overtime period, the extra point would come down to penalty shots.

After notching the all important game-tying goal and producing a number of huge saves respectively, it would be Lauzon and Bowns that would again prove to be match winners for the Stingrays.

Lauzon notched the only penalty shot with a beautiful drag move and Bowns would stop all three Clan shooters to seal the Stingrays fourth win from four games against Braehead.

While Lauzon, Bowns and Doucet all stood out for their game changing performances at key moments, it was the hard work across the team that proved the difference. The Rays third line also deserves some credit for their performance with Sam Towner having one of his best, most notable games stepping in to the line-up.

The two sides will meet up for the second time in five days on Wednesday night as the Clan travel to Hull for their fifth meeting of the season.

FBB Three Stars
1. Ben Bowns (44 saves, 1 assist)
2. Carl Lauzon (1+0)
3. Guillaume Doucet (1+1)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Stingrays stem the tide to clinch crucial four point weekend

Hull Stingrays 5-4 Fife Flyers

The Hull Stingrays tonight held on for a crucial 5-4 victory over Gardiner Conference rivals the Fife Flyers to complete a massive four point weekend following last night's 2-1 overtime victory over the Coventry Blaze.

Prior to tonight the teams had already met three times this season in Fife with the Stingrays possessing a 1-1-1 record, however, the fixture would be the sides first meeting at Hull Arena this season.

A chippy and niggly opening minute eventually saw Omar Pacha and Justin DaCosta drop the gloves after just 1.18 with the Flyers defenceman getting the better of his Stingrays counterpart in an open fight.

The flight calmed the game somewhat but it would be the Stingrays that would take advantage of a goaltender inference penalty on Jamie Wilson as Kyle Mariani was given time on the blueline to fire a shot which eventually found its way home via Guillaume Doucet after 2.34.

Despite disadvantaged for large parts of the opening stages the Flyers controlled the game at even strength and, although they would end the period with five minor penalties and one major to the Stingrays  four majors, they would deservedly equalise with less than 30 seconds to go in the period through Bobby Chaumont.

Unfortunately for the Flyers and head coach Todd Duitaume, the Stingrays used the late leveler to catapult themselves back up the ice and doggedly pursue a late first period go-ahead go. Amazingly the pressure paid off as Matty Davies fired home his second goal in two games since returning from injury to give the Stingrays a 2-1 lead heading into the second.

Sylvain Cloutier's side again got off to a perfect start in the second as stand in forward Jeff Smith picked up a blocked Jamie Chilcott shot after 21.32 and beat netminder Kevin Regan for a 3-1 lead.

Six minutes later Regan would be called into action to stop a Doucet penalty shot - after the Canadian was brought down on the breakaway - before the Flyers again got themselves back into the game through Chaumont - who picked up a loose puck and sniped it past the ever impressive Ben Bowns.

Fife continued to control large swaths of play at even strength, however, it would be the Stingrays that would again score somewhat against the run of play as Carl Lauzon fed Doucet directly in front of the Fife net to one-time home for a 4-2 lead after 33.14.

Regardless, the Flyers stuck to the task and, after some sustained offensive pressure, they would finally get the piece of luck they needed as the puck jumped over the stick of an advancing Pacha - leading to a two on one which Derek Roehl would eventually score at the second time of asking.

The goal came with less than five minutes to go in an offence happy second period which saw 35 shots rain in on the two netminders and the visitors would carry that momentum through the second intermission.

Though the Stingrays controlled more of the game in the third period than they had in the opening two periods it would be Fife that would complete their comeback from two goals down as Kyle Haines tied the game up at 4-4 having gone unnoticed when rushing from the point.

With the game on a knife edge the Stingrays - who hadn't been at their best but lead for the vast majority of the game - found themselves challenged by a Fife team that, contrary to the scoreline, had performed relatively well.

Although the Stingrays would fail to hit seven goals for the fourth consecutive home game they would clinch two vital points with their fifth goal of the evening as yet another piece of brilliant skill from Doucet drew an interference penalty from Danny Stewart that would ultimately decide the game

On the ensuing powerplay the puck was fired around the boards to Carl Lauzon - who picked out the slightest of gaps at the Regan's front post to notch what would be the game winning goal to go with his three assists with 6.40 left on the clock.

A tense three minutes ensued before another interference penalty - this time for a dangerous looking hit on Jereme Tendler by Matt Reber - drew the ire of the Flyers, inparticular Chaumont - who was given a ten minute abuse of official penalty - and effectively killed the game off.

The gritty victory, combined with Coventry's shootout loss in Edinburgh, lifts the Stingrays onto equal points with Coventry in sixth in the Elite League and maintains their challenge to Dundee - who tonight came back from 3-1 down to beat Braehead - at the top of the Gardiner Conference.

Following two important victories this weekend, the Stingrays face two crucial Gardiner Conference games next week as they travel to Scotland to face the Braehead Clan on Saturday and the Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday before a return fixture against the Clan in Hull the following Wednesday.

FBB Three Stars
1. Guillaume Doucet (2+1)
2. Matty Davies (1+1)
3. Carl Lauzon  (1+3)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bowns stops 43 shots as Stingrays claim overtime victory in Coventry

Coventry Blaze 1-2 Hull Stingrays (OT)

Netminder Ben Bowns tonight stopped 43 shots and Matty Davies netted the game-winning goal on his return to the team as the Hull Stingrays defeated the Coventry Blaze 2-1 in overtime at the Skydome.

Having outshot their visitors 14-7 in the first period but come away empty handed, it was the Blaze that eventually opened the scoring through Ashley Tait 1.04 into the second period.

Tait would be handed a chance to extend Coventry's lead later in the game with a third period penalty shot on 43.14, however, Bowns would this time get the better of his GB teammate.

Coventry would go on to regret that miss though as just over 30 after Tait's miss Jereme Tendler leveled the scores with his 30th goal of the season on the powerplay.

In a niggly game, screened live on Premier Sports the Blaze time and again came up empty handed against Bowns - particularly on the man advantage, which went 0 for 6 - and it would be the Stingrays that would make the most of their powerplay opportunities.

2.07 into the overtime period Davies would pop up on his return from injury to bag the game winning goal with assists from Carl Lauzon and Nikolai Ladygin.

The win is the Stingrays second in five games against Coventry this season and nudges them a point closer to the Blaze - who now lie just one point ahead of Sylvain Cloutier's side in sixth.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Stingrays fall to Steelers

Sheffield Steelers 6-3 Hull Stingrays

The Hull Stingrays tonight fell to their third defeat against Sheffield Steelers this season, losing out by six goals to three at a sold out Ice Sheffield.

Early goals from Stefan Meyer and Steven Goertzen gave the home side a two goal lead after just 3.18.

Nikolai Ladygin recorded his first goal since rejoining the Stingrays on the powerplay 15.39 to pull one back however Jonathan Phillips restored the Steelers two goal advantage heading into the first intermission less than 60 seconds later.

Doug Christiansen's side then took a commanding and decisive 6-1 lead following second period goals from Jeff Legue and Robert Dowd, and then an early third period goal from Meyer.

The Stingrays added two late goals through Jason Silverthorn and Jereme Tendler but it was too little too late for Sylvain Cloutier's side.

They return to action on Saturday night as they take on the Coventry Blaze at the Skydome live on Premier Sports before taking on the Fife Flyers at the Hull Arena for the first time this season.