Hull Stingrays 'must weather Cardiff blizzard'
JEREME Tendler says Hull Stingrays must weather the Cardiff "storm" if they are to secure two vital Challenge Cup points tonight.
The teams are currently fourth and fifth in their group, level on points with two games left.
Whoever wins tonight's showdown in the Welsh capital will be in the box-seat to make the quarter-finals.
And Tendler is hoping it's Stingrays who defy the odds.
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He said: "It's a huge game for us, but in their home rink Cardiff will come out and for the first 10 minutes it's a storm.
"We have to weather the blizzard and focus on the little things like winning our one-on-one battles, hit the net with our shots and be aware of them being behind us."
The "Big Blue Tent" has traditionally not been a happy hunting ground for Sylvain Cloutier's men.
Wins are exceptionally rare, with one visit resulting in an embarrassing 12-0 pasting in front of the TV cameras.
But Cardiff are missing forward Max Birbraer after his involvement in disgraceful post-match scenes against Coventry last Sunday.
Having been dispatched for an early shower on a cross-checking to the head penalty, he returned and became embroiled in the rumpus and has been handed an eight-match ban.
Team-mate Devin Didiomete also returned to join the altercation after being escorted off the playing surface and will serve a three-match suspension.
And bench coach Neil Francis has had his initial "travesty of the game" one-game ban increased to five, although he could appeal.
"We've certainly struggled down there since I've been at Stingrays, they always play well in their barn," said Canadian Tendler.
"But this is a new year. We are a strong team too. If we are ready to play we should keep it close and hopefully come out with the two points. They will have a couple of suspensions and we have to capitalise on that.
"We have to go in there, play our game, and everyone has to do their jobs. If we do that we have a chance."
Stingrays beat Cardiff 7-5 in September with Tendler grabbing a welcome hat-trick.
He added another couple last Saturday to help beat Fife 5-4.
"That's a long time ago now," said Tendler.
"Cardiff have had time to improve and so have we. I know what I am here to do. I scored a couple of goals last weekend so hopefully they will keep going in."