HAND READY FOR BLAZE
November 7, 2012
Hull Stingrays press release
Two of the toughest players in the Elite League will come face to face when Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays take on Coventry Blaze at Hull Arena on Saturday night.
Stingrays enforcer Ryan Hand and Blaze defenceman Benn Olson are the most penalised players in the Rapid Solicitors Elite League with a combined total of 314 penalty minutes in 35 games.
Hand is the second-highest penalty taker with 89 minutes from 17 games. He has fought five times – twice against Adam Keefe (Belfast Giants) and Guillaume Lepine (Nottingham Panthers) as well as Tom Sestito (Sheffield Steelers).
Olson, meanwhile, tops the charts with 225 minutes in 18 matches. Of his 10 fights, he has twice grappled with Keefe and Cardiff Devils’ Devin Didiomete as well as Sestito.
The pair clash for the second time this term with the first meeting at the Skydome in September – which Blaze won 6-5 after penalty shots having been 5-2 down - seeing the gloves stay on.
Blaze – and Olson in particular – have been involved in feisty battles with Cardiff and Belfast over the past two weekends. While Bonfire Night may have passed, Hand has predicted more fireworks.
He said: “In the last game the score was the reason why he didn’t want to go and then it wasn’t the right time for me.
“But this time let’s get it out of the way when the score is not a factor. If a fight is there I will take it.
“I would like to have had a few more fights by now but I have managed to improve my game over here. Clouts [player-coach Sylvain Cloutier] has given me a chance to play and my confidence is higher. I just want to contribute in any way I can.
“We are going to have a pretty good crowd in and we want to put on a good show and get the win. We are on a roll right now and will play the same way.”
The first encounter in Hull is in the Challenge Cup while Stingrays, who have won four of their last five matches, then head to the Skydome in the league on Sunday.