Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to home ice after a heavy defeat to Milton Keynes in their previous game. With all the National League games last Sunday postponed due to the tragic death of Nottingham Panther’s player Adam Johnson in an Elite League game last weekend, this was the first opportunity for the Telford faithful to pay tribute to Johnson and prior to the game the club held a two minute’s silence to allow the fans to pay their respects.
Tigers started the game without long term absentee Sam Watkins, Danny Rose, Ricky Plant, Vladimir Luka and Jonathan Weaver but added James Smith and Ryan Leese to the line up.
Tigers made a lacklustre start to the game and never really got going in the opening period. The only goal of the period belonged to the visitors when a long range shot from Brad Bowering caught out Brad Day in the Tigers’ goal. Harry Ferguson hit the inside of the post for Telford and the puck bounced to safety.
A bizarre call by Referee Hamilton gave Peterborough a power play late in the period. A wayward pass by Connor Lee went into the Phantoms’ bench causing Ivan Nordstrom to cross check Lee. Jaden Peca went to his aid and Hamilton called a penalty against Peca only. Tigers killed off the penalty with some resolute defending.
Tigers started the second period in better form but could not get the puck past Jordan Marr in the Phantoms’ goal. The visitors made them pay when a Lukas Sladkovsky shot was saved by Day but fell perfectly for Martins Susters to fire into the open net to double the lead.
Tigers passing was not at its fluid best all game but their effort could not be faulted as they pressured the Phantoms goal for much of the third period. Marr made save after save and denied Scott McKenzie twice from point blank range.
Peterborough added a third goal on the breakaway when Austin Mitchell-King found the unmarked Duncan Spears who shot the puck into the open net to put the game beyond Telford.
The crowd gave a minutes applause in the 47th minute of the game in tribute to the number worn by Adam Johnson during his career.
Despite considerable effort, Tigers could not get past Marr who recorded a shut out and took the man of the match award for the visitors. Telford fall to back to back defeats and face League Champions Leeds Knights at home in their next game on Sunday 5th November 2023.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 0 Peterborough Phantoms 3.
Man of the match: Brad Day.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “After the very sad events of the last few days it was difficult to return to play today for everyone, you could certainly feel it in the atmosphere in the building, a difficult evening for the all the players and fans.
It was very important for us all to show our respects to Adam Johnson and unite as a group who have all been saddened and shocked by this terrible tragedy.
The ice hockey community has really pulled together in this difficult time, which can be seen globally with so many tributes worldwide.
The game this evening was insignificant given the circumstances.”