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Telford Tigers 2 Clinch Laidler Cup Victory with Dramatic Overtime Goal

Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 travelled to Sheffield on Sunday for the second leg of the Laidler Cup Final against Suttong . After trailing by two goals in the first leg of the Cup Final on Saturday night on home ice, Tigers were going to be up against it. 

Tigers were still missing players due to suspensions, including Paul Davies, Liam Bartholomew and Liam Preece. 

It was clear from the first minute of the game that both teams were hungry for the win, with very evenly matched efforts for the first fifteen minutes of the first period. As the first period headed towards the final five minutes of play, Tigers ramped up the pressure on Sting. A face off win in the Sutton zone allowed Tigers Captain Oli Hunt to set up the perfect chance for Karol Jets who out manoeuvred Sutton’s defence to slot the puck past Lewis King for the first goal of the night sending the well-travelled Tigers fans wild in the stands.

As the momentum surged for the Tigers, the noise of the Telford fans echoed throughout the arena. A critical fumble from the Sutton defence in their own zone created a perfect opportunity for Tigers. Washburn seized the puck, and smoothly whipped it around King’s goal crease to find the back of the net, igniting an eruption of even louder cheers from the Tigers bench and crowd. 

In an instant, the overall score line was levelled, setting the stage for an exhilarating showdown. Tigers led by two goals after the first period, five goals apiece on aggregate. 

Ben Washburn celebrates his goal
Photo Credit: Keith & Jen Davies

Tensions were building as the puck dropped for the second period. Sutton had control until the puck was picked up in the Tigers zone by Crowe.  With Washburn carrying the puck over the blueline, he passed to Hammerton who unleashed a thunderous shot, finding the back of the Sting net just over 2 and a half minutes into the period, amplifying the Tigers’ relentless assault. 

Telford Tigers started look more comfortable and confident in their play. Shortly thereafter, Filip Supa delivered a stunning finish, propelling the Tigers to a commanding four-goal lead sending the Tigers fans wild.

Two minutes later, McNaughton was given a hooking penalty. With Sutton being the best converting powerplay unit in the league, there were no doubts that a goal would be on the horizon. Sting capitalised, closing the aggerate score line gap to only one goal. Early in the third period, the hosts were given another powerplay when Dan Harrison was called for kneeing. Tigers netminder Matty Byrne played a blinder for the penalty kill, denying Sting of their chances.

Dan Mitchell scores the game winning goal
Photo Credit: Keith & Jen Davies

With ten minutes left of the game, Sting had control of the puck in the Tigers zone, putting on the pressure… A loose puck around the Tigers net allowed Sting to take advantage for their second goal of the night taking the game to a tie.

The high stakes of the Cup title became even more intense as the final ten minutes of the game unfolded. Despite numerous opportunities for both sides, neither team managed to break the deadlock as the clock wound down in regulation. With the tied, the tension soared as the final buzzer sounded, signalling the onset of five minutes of sudden-death overtime, where a single goal would clinch the championship.

Telford Tigers 2 faced a pivotal moment during a penalty kill after Supa was handed a penalty for tripping. In a thrilling turn of events, Dan Mitchell made an outstanding block in the Tigers zone to then pick up the puck and skate on a lightning-fast charge into the heart of the Sting’s territory, evading all defenders as he surged towards the net. 

Mitchell seized the opportunity, scoring a short-handed overtime goal that secured a remarkable victory for the Tigers, clinching the Laidler Cup in dramatic fashion.

Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 5 (8) Sutton Sting 2 (7)

Scorers: Karol Jets, Ben Washburn, Filip Supa, Charlie Hammerton and Dan Mitchell

Man of the match: Dan Mitchell

After the game Telford Tigers 2 Coach Dougie Wildman commented, 

“Despite facing a challenging two-goal deficit, the solid determination of our team was on full display in the second leg of the final. The incredible support from our fans, including those who travelled to Sheffield on Sunday, provided an invaluable boost to the team throughout the weekend. The victory is a testament to the hard work and resilience of our players, and we are immensely proud of their remarkable performance.”

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