Table Topping Result for Tigers 2. Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 travelled to Sheffield on Saturday afternoon for an early-doors clash against league ‘newbies’ Sheffield Titans. This was the first encounter between the two teams this season, so the natural favourite was tough to guess ahead of of the puck dropping.
The first period was a fast-paced start for both teams, with the game play being pretty much end-end. With the pressure on, it was all eyes on who would net the first puck. Titans created the first chance, but Tigers netminder Brown blocked the first shot taken from William Newcombe and the puck was soon picked up again by the visitors. Several close attempts from Washburn and Anderton continued to put the pressure on Titans, but they weren’t cracking just yet.
Tigers found themselves the first side to become short-handed after Lucas Price was called for highsticks, giving Titans their first powerplay. Sheffield were unable to capitalise on the opportunity and ended up with the man-disadvantage after William Newcombe was ejected from the game for a check to the head and a misconduct penalty. The game resumed four on four, after Bartholomew landed himself a boarding penalty. It was Tigers who were back to full strength first, with a three-minute powerplay chance, but frustratingly Tigers were unable to breakout on any dangerous play. The first period ended with neither team scoring.
The puck dropped for the second period, and Tigers 2 started with a man advantage after Titans’ Rushby was called for tripping 10 seconds ahead of the first period coming to a close. Titans managed to kill the penalty, but Tigers’ Supa soon killed the momentum after netting Tigers’ first goal, assisted by Washburn. The Slovakian shortly followed up with his second goal before the half-way mark of the game. Titans didn’t take a liking to Tigers’ two goal lead, and Tate Shudra responded with goal one for Titans. A delayed penalty goal for Titans put them back in the game, but it didn’t last long when Tigers capitalised on their sixth powerplay shortly after thanks to Liam Bartholomew; swiftly followed by Brandon Anderton. Tigers took a comfortable three-goal lead up to the end of the second period.
Titans came out the blocks first in the third, looking for a comeback, Ethan Jones managed to sneak the puck past Brown putting the Titans back into a two goal difference game. Hopes for Sheffield clawing the game back didn’t last long when Tigers went onto scoring a flurry of goals after Bartholomew and Anderton bagged their second goals of the game and Oli Hunt with his first – taking Tigers to a five goal lead. An even handed goal from Titans in the 57th minute from Sam Colton closed the gap by one, but the party wasn’t over for Tigers… Filip Supa sealed the deal with his hattrick goal, again assisted by Washburn with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Tigers took the five-goal lead up to the final buzzer and retained the top of the table spot in their NIHL Laidler league campaign.
Final Score: Sheffield Titans 2 Hexagon Telford Tigers 8
Scorers: Filip Supa (3), Liam Bartholomew (2), Brandon Anderton (2), Oli Hunt
Man of the match: #38 Tom Byrne
After the game, assistant coach Dougie Wildman commented:
“Coming off the back of a 14-1 win against Nottingham we knew we would be facing a different test against Sheffield who have put in some good wins to date against the top teams. We started a little apprehensive than normal but we soon settled after the initial jitters in the first five minutes and got our game going.
Although the score was 0-0 at the end of the 1st period that didn’t reflect how many chances we created and the possession we had. We came out for the remaining two periods with fire and great tempo with some strong puck possession and passing.
This game is definitely up there with one of our best games we have played all season – it was a whole team performance. Every line worked hard and it showed in our play as we dominated the game out shooting Titans 54 to 21.
If I had to critique the game, it would be just on our finishing… But by creating the chances, we were confident in finding the net. This coming weekend we have a double header and two more tough games, so we must stay focused and put out another couple of performances like Saturday in both these upcoming games.”
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