Luka Hat Trick Gets the Job Done. Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to home ice to face bottom of the table Hull in their pursuit of a play off place. With their overtime win over Swindon last week, Tigers narrowed the gap to Basingstoke in seventh place to a single point – albeit Basingstoke have played one less game than Telford.
Tigers continued to be without the services of Corey Goodison and saw Deakan Fielder start a four game suspension after being given a ban for fighting in the previous game.
The opening period was a scrappy one without either team playing free flowing hockey.
In the eighth minute of the game, Tigers took the lead with a stunning goal from Vladimir Luka.
The Tigers’ forward received a pass from Rory Herrman and hit a first time slap shot that hit the back of the net before Hull net minder Jordan McLaughlin could even move to stop it.
Hull equalised three minutes later when Andre Themar was unmarked in front of goal and sent a shot over Brad Day’s shoulder into the net to draw the sides level.
Tigers regained the lead three minutes from the end of the period with Luka scoring his second of the game. Luka took the puck off a Hull defender, skated towards goal and hit a shot in off the crossbar to give Tigers a deserved lead.
Early in the second period, Telford increased their lead. A shot from a tight angle by Herrman beat McLaughlin low down to his left to give Tigers a third goal.
Midway through the period Hull hit back with a second goal that was scored in bizarre circumstances. Themar broke in on goal and had his shot saved by Day. Jake Price was stood in front of Day and was first to the rebound but in attempting to clear the puck he hit it into the net past Day. With Themar the last Hull player to touch the puck, he was awarded the goal.
Day was then needed to be at his acrobatic best when called on to make a double save from a Themar breakaway.
Tigers ended the period on top with a narrow lead.
Two minutes into the third period Tigers scored a fourth goal. Fin Howells mishit a shot that bobbled over McLaughlin’s pads and into the net.
But, Hull scored two goals in quick succession to level the game. Jordan Fisher scored from close range and Emil Svec shot into an open net after Themar’s cross ice pass found him unmarked in front of goal.
Hull had a golden chance to win the game when Lucas Price was called for cross checking with five minutes left but some resolute defending and two saves from Day kept the sides level.
With the game entering the final minute and overtime looming, Tigers took the lead. A speculative shot by Howells from by the boards in front of the Hull bench went through McLaughlin’s legs and crept into the net, sending the home fans wild.
Hull immediately pulled McLaughlin from the goal at the restart of play to add an extra attacker. But this just allowed Telford to seal the game with an empty net goal. Luka deflected Declan Balmer’s attempted clearance towards the empty net and got to it first before Balmer could recover and Luka tapped the puck home to complete his hat trick.
Tigers’ victory coupled with Basingstoke losing to Milton Keynes sends Telford into seventh place.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 6 Hull Seahawks 4.
Scorers: Vladimir Luka (3), Fin Howells (2) and Rory Herrman.
Man of the match: Vladimir Luka.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “It was not a great performance but we got the job done and we kept our composure after Hull tied the game up. That win takes us a step closer to qualifying for the playoffs which is our goal. That is a big two points and we have now won back to back home games. We now need to go to Romford and play a solid road game against the Raiders in our next game.”
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