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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Rays swoop for American Thompson

Rick Strachan

Hull Stingrays have signed veteran American left-winger Jamie Thompson as a replacement for Rick Kozak, who quit the club 10 days ago.

The 34-year-old played for the Austin Ice Bats last season and the signing has delighted Rays coach Rick Strachan.

He told BBC Radio Humberside: "He's a 10-year veteran in good leagues and we needed a left wing.

"Both Stuart Kerr and Aaron Wilson played with him in Austin and both said 'sign him' and he can score goals."

Thompson has already flown into the country and will play next weekend against Belfast and Sheffield.

Strachan said he was looking forward to having him on board to help the club's play-off push.

"It will be good to have a full import quota for the first time this season," said Strachan.

"We will then see just what we can do and our aim is to get some wins and get into a play-off place and stay there."

Thompson was born in Framlington, in Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the University of Maine and includes El Paso, Worcester Ice Cats, Austin, Elmira Jackals and the Danbury Thrashers as previous clubs in a career that has seen him score 317 goals.

Over the weekend the Rays tasted victory and defeat in the Elite League.

They had the fans on the edge of their seats against Newcastle at the Hull Arena as they completed their first-ever penalty shot win in the top flight.

They had lost all six of their previous attempts but penalty conversions from Konstantin Kalmikov and Matt Reynolds saw them claim a 4-3 win over the Vipers after Jeff Glowa (two) and Lee Mitchell had scored in regulation time.

However, it was a different story at Manchester as Hull went down 6-4 in a 10-goal thriller.

Glowa took his tally for the weekend to four with a further two goals and Ukrainian Kalmikov scored for the first time in open play for the Rays, with the other goal coming from youngster Lee Esders.

The Phoenix finally killed the game off in the last minute with an empty-net goal after Strachan went for broke in an attempt to take a point by withdrawing netminder Curtis Cruikshank for the last couple of minutes.


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