Hull Stingrays: Changes aren't needs, says Sylvain Cloutier
HULL Stingrays' coach Sylvain Cloutier says he feels "no reason" to start plotting team changes.
Stingrays are eighth in the overall Elite League table and dropped to second in the Gardiner Conference after losing 4-3 to Braehead and 6-2 to Edinburgh over the weekend.
Worryingly, all their rivals have games in hand in the Conference and Stingrays have shipped 17 goals in their last three matches.
Nevertheless, Cloutier appears content with the team's general progress.
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He said: "I've no reason to make team changes at the moment. We've been playing well for the last six weeks so we'll keep plugging away.
"I'm always talking to agents to see what's available, but there is no need to make any changes."
The other plus point is that Stingrays have so far avoided the catalogue of injuries and suspensions which have plagued the team in previous campaigns.
"It's the first time in the four years I've been here that it's not happened," said Cloutier.
"Knock on wood it stays that way. Hopefully the guys keep plugging away and don't force my hand to make changes.
"Our only absentee is Cale Tanaka and he's not far away from returning.
"When he does come back it will be like a new player and that will give us a boost too."
On Saturday the Rapid Solicitors Stingrays suffered a last-gasp 4-3 defeat, with Cloutier furious at the late penalty calls on his side.
Ash Goldie scored the only goal of the first period at 12.21 and Jade Galbraith doubled Clan's advantage at 27.48.
Janis Ozolins pulled one back for Stingrays at 32.59 before Jason Silverthorn, passed fit after a leg injury, tied the game at 38.11.
Goldie (powerplay) put Clan back in front at 40.53 and Jereme Tendler made it 3-3 at 46.33. NHL forward Drew Miller struck 35 seconds from time, on the powerplay, after Silverthorn picked up an interference penalty.
Cloutier said: "I didn't agree with what happened at the end.
"It's a 3-3 game with 1.40 left, I thought we deserved better than how it ended."
Last night Curtis Leinweber put Edinburgh ahead before Dominic Osman levelled for Stingrays.
Leinweber's second powerplay effort restored Capitals' lead and Richard Hartmann made it 3-1, again with the man advantage.
Martin Ondrej pulled a goal back, but Marcis Zembergs added Capitals' fourth on a two-on-one break-away after Stingrays failed to convert their powerplay chances.
Another Hartmann powerplay goal early in the third period and Rene Jarolin's effort inside the last three minutes completed a dismal night for Stingrays.
Cloutier said: "I'm very disappointed not to get any points from the weekend, especially looking at our run of fixtures up to Christmas."