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Ice hockey: Depleted Deeside Dragons sting Hull Stingrays with clever tactics

A VITAL win going into a free weekend left Deeside Dragons player-coach Steve Fellows very happy.

The Dragons are without a game this weekend and took a depleted squad to face Hull Stingrays on Saturday in what Fellows expected to be a tough encounter.

But the title-chasers handled the situation well and emerged 4-1 victors despite home side Hull fielding a number of dual-contracted Elite League players in the NIHL North Two encounter.

Missing Matty Compton, Dave Costelloe and Shaun Kippin through suspension plus Pete Founds through injury, the Dragons travelled with only two lines to take on the Stingrays.

But tactical wizardry from Fellows paid off as the Dragons forced Hull to come after them only to sucker punch them time and again as a result.

“We had to play clever because they had a couple of their Elite League players available and we were running short,” said Fellows.

“Instead of chasing them we wanted to draw them out and that’s exactly what we did.

“In fact we did it so well I will have to have a think about when we use that tactic again!”

Tom King put in a fine performance to earn the Most Valuable Player award and levelled for the Dragons after an uncharacteristic fumble from netminder Dave Clancy had allowed Hull to take the lead.

Brian Worrall made it two for the Dragons before a couple of third-period strikes from Ric Hughes and Andy Chappell completed the win.

“We could have won by more,” said Fellows. “Brian Worrall could have had a hat trick and we could have won 8-1.

“Considering some of the lads were pulling double-duty because of the lack of numbers it was a great performance and exactly what we needed to deliver against Hull.”

The Dragons have no game at the weekend but Fellows said his players would be keen to return.

“They love to play and a weekend without hockey will just feed their appetite,” he said. “We have another important game coming up against Sheffield Senators and for that game we will have Compton and Kippin back from suspension. Dave Costelloe returns the week after and we will almost be up to full strength.”

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