‘Embarrassing’ team heads for Sheffield

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Hull Stingrays travel to Sheffield Steelers tonight afer suffering one of their heaviest home defeats of the season as they were beaten 8-2 by Coventry Blaze,

Three goals inside 160 seconds towards the end of the first period saw Blaze take control.

After Blaze had an early goal chalked off because it had been kicked in, Greg Owen put them ahead on the powerplay.

Then two goals in the space of 24 seconds followed from Owen Fussey and Peter Nylander, with Stingrays being out-shot 21-7 in the session.

Things went from bad to worse for Stingrays – already without leading goalscorer Jereme Tendler through illness - as they fell 5-0 behind within three minutes of the second period after powerplay markers from Matic Kralj and Fussey 17 seconds apart.

Mike McLean hit the bar for the visitors on a breakaway before Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier got his side on the board in the 38th minute and the period ended with Jason Silverthorn and Kralj dropping the gloves.

Fussey (powerplay) claimed his hat-trick and Nylander and Kralj made it 8-1 before Stingrays pulled netminder Christian Boucher, with back-up Andy Brummitt taking over.

Blaze then replaced Peter Hirsch with 16-year-old back-up goalie Adam Goss for the final eight minutes.

Goss was beaten by Andy McKinney (powerplay) with two minutes left but it was a night to forget for Stingrays.

Cloutier, whose side head to title-chasing Sheffield tonight, said: “It was embarrassing. “There was a big crowd but I had maybe three guys who tried all night and the rest of the guys were passengers.

“There are no excuses, we all have a job to do. You can’t just take a night off – it is unacceptable.

“If they thought it was hard tonight, it is going to be a lot harder in Sheffield tomorrow night. They are the hottest team in the league and they had better be ready to go.”