Overtime Loss For Tigers. Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Slough for their first visit of the season to take on the Bees. Tigers had lost at home in overtime to the Bees early in the season and were on a poor run of form having lost their last four games.
Telford were without Jonathan Weaver, Ricky Plant, Danny Rose, Sam Watkins, Connor Lee and Ryan Leese but were able to add James Smith to the line up after the club announced he would be playing for the National League side for the rest of the season.
Tigers dominated possession in the opening period but found themselves two goals behind as the hosts took the chances that came their way. A wild shot by Will Stead flew wide of Brad Day’s goal and bounced off the boards behind the goal and landed perfectly for Marcel Balaz to shoot over Day and give Bees the lead.
Ten minutes into the period Bees doubled their lead. Dominik Gabaj took advantage of a defensive lapse to skate in on goal unopposed and beat Day. Tigers ended the period having had most of the puck possession but not creating anything of note.
Tigers started the second period like the first but were indebted to Day for a fabulous save during a goalmouth scramble, throwing his stick behind him to prevent the puck crossing the line.
With four minutes of the period left, Tigers finally got on the scoreboard whilst on the power play. With Gabaj serving a hooking penalty, Tigers took full advantage of the extra attacker. Rhodes Mitchell-King’s shot from distance was tipped past Bees’ net minder Brython Preece by Harry Ferguson.
Two minutes later the visitors were level. A superb solo goal by Fin Howells gave Tigers a second goal. Howells took the puck from centre ice, beat a Bees defender and skated in on goal shooting over Preece’s shoulder.
As the period ended things got out of hand. Liam Morris was checked fairly by Jake Price but took exception to the check and cross checked Price. Jaden Peca jumped in and punched Morris who threw himself to the floor. Peca was given a match penalty and thrown out of the game.
As the buzzer for the end of the period went Harvey Stead left the bench to confront Price and the two ended up dropping the gloves. Price was given a five minute penalty for fighting and Stead ejected from the game. The upshot of the penalties was that Bees would have a three minute power play in the third period.
Tigers killed off the power play and were threatening the Bees’ goal regularly but couldn’t score. Both officials missed a blatant boarding on Price by Morris which angered Tigers’ Captain Scott McKenzie who went after Morris and the two dropped the gloves. With no further scoring the game went to overtime.
A minute into overtime, Tigers got caught on the break when Vladimir Luka turned the puck over on the boards in the Bees defensive zone allowing Vanya Antonov to break in on goal. The Bees’ forward was fortunate when he lost control of the puck but saw it slide between Day’s legs and into the net to win the game for the home side. Tigers fall to their fifth defeat in a row.
Final Score: Bees 3 Hexagon Telford Tigers 2. (After Overtime).
Scorers: Harry Ferguson and Fin Howells.
Man of the match: Brad Day.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “You can look at it one of two ways, we battled back and got a point or we got a bad start and give a team a two goal head start.
I’d like to say we showed good character to get something from the game, but it was a game that was there for the taking.
We need the players to raise their games in the absence of others, take on the responsibility to prove they have what it takes to play with the increased minutes.
We need to work smarter as a group to turn this around and focus on doing what it takes to win games.”