'Making play-offs will be big achievement for us'
LONG-SERVING forward Jason Silverthorn believes it will be a big achievement if Hull Stingrays book their place in the end-of-season play-offs.
They currently sit one point outside the top-eight spots in the overall Elite League standings with six games left.
Bizarrely, though, they are currently seeded second for the play-offs because they top their Gardiner Conference group.
"It's a big achievement every year you qualify for the play-offs," said Silverthorn, who helped Stingrays to finish seventh last year and then knock out Sheffield Steelers to make the last four.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"It's a tough league, this year more than in years past.
"It's huge any time a lower level club from the bottom five can get into the play-offs and get those extra two games.
"It's great for the fans and the club itself and it also promotes us to players for next year. It helps on a lot of different levels for any club."
The Rapid Solicitors Stingrays' hopes of extending their season have been buoyed by a four-point weekend, earned with victories over Braehead (2-1 in overtime) and Fife (3-1).
"Last weekend was huge, but every game is huge now," said the 33-year-old forward.
"The key was playing consistently.
"In the last couple of weeks we've put in some good performances but we have stumbled and put one game together, but last weekend it was two and we came out with all four points."
This weekend it is vital Stingrays hit top form again, starting tonight against Dundee who have played only 25 of their Gardiner Conference games, as opposed to Stingrays' 30.
Fail to cash in on home advantage and the door will close on Stingrays' hopes of booking their play-off place via the Conference standings. Instead, they will have to rely on overhauling their rivals in the overall table.
The heat is on as the stakes are high, but Silverthorn said: "There's a lot of pressure but you can use that in two ways, it either motivates or demoralises.
"Sylvain Cloutier has done a really good job in keeping things light in the room and keeping guys loose and performing."
While the Stars tonight is arguably the most important game of the weekend, tomorrow against Nottingham is undoubtedly the toughest.
The leaders are closing in on the title and Stingrays' owners have been warning fans to buy their tickets in advance as big-budget Panthers are likely to be backed by a vociferous and large travelling contingent. Panthers will start red-hot favourites, given the disparity in spending, double the points tally, plus the four previous wins this season.
"Nottingham are more balanced this year," reflected Silverthorn.
"They've always been able to score, but this time they're gritty."