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“Small Details” Cost Tigers

Hexagon Telford Tigers traveled to Wiltshire to take on Swindon Wildcats keen to end a recent run of defeats having lost four games in a row. Tigers were able to welcome back Archie Hazeldine and James Smith to the roster and with back up netminder Matty Bloor unavailable he was replaced on the bench by U18 net minder Hal Griffiths.

Tigers made a great start to the game and took the lead in the fourth minute when Jaden Peca caught out the Swindon defence with an inch perfect pass to Jesse Sutton who beat Swindon net minder Renny Marr with a cool finish. But Tigers would end the period behind on the scoreboard as they conceded twice.  Sam Bullas scored from close range to level the scores. Tigers were lucky when Swindon thought they had scored a second goal but the goal was ruled out by the officials for interference. The reprieve was temporary though as shortly after a pass from Tomaz Malasinski split the Tigers’ defence allowing Glen Billing to score.

Early in the second period the visitors were level when Peca hit a terrific wrist shot from the right circle to draw the sides level. But almost immediately after Telford scored Swindon were ahead again when Colby Tower broke in on goal and beat Brad Day with a superb shot into the top right hand corner of the goal.

A defensive turnover on the Swindon blue line allowed the Wildcats to break away 2-on-1 and score again through Tower who netted his second goal of the game.

In the third period, Tigers pulled a goal back when Jack Watkins won a board battle in the Swindon defensive zone and found Harry Ferguson in space. Ferguson sent a low shot into the bottom right hand corner of Marr’s goal. But once again Swindon restored their two goal lead when a defensive lapse led to Malasinski winning the puck and sending a pass across the slot to allow Billing to score.

A late power play gave Telford a chance to reduce the deficit when Chris Jones was called for interference. Hazeldine sent a pass towards goal which was pounced on by Fin Howells who directed the puck between Marr’s legs to reduce Swindon’s lead to one goal.

Despite pulling Day from the goal to add an extra attacker and having some late pressure on the Swindon goal there was no further scoring and Swindon held on to take the points and extend Tigers losing run to five games.

Final Score: Swindon Wildcats 5 Hexagon Telford Tigers 4.

Scorers: Jesse Sutton, Jaden Peca, Harry Ferguson and Fin Howells.

Man of the match: Archie Hazeldine.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “That was a good performance on the road, despite the defeat and we pushed hard to tie it up and had a couple of good chances when we pulled Brad at the end. The fine margins, the small details make such a big difference in a hockey game to the final outcome, managing the puck at high level against a highly skilled offence opponent, not getting caught on odd man rushes, boxing out well, turning pucks over,  smart changes and then taking opportunities when they present themselves.

I am generally pleased with our performance but we lost the game in the small details and that is what we need to work on.”

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