Telford Tigers 2 hosted Sutton Sting this Saturday, hoping to take away 2 points and win themselves a 4th place spot in the Laidler Conference table.
The first period was a tough start for Tigers 2, conceding only 28 seconds into the game with a goal from Sutton’s Ryan Johnson. Sutton continued to dominant the period and saw Tigers 2 chasing for the puck. Tigers 2 tried to create chances in front of the Sting net but wasn’t able to finish any with only 6 shots on goal for the whole period. The first period ended Tigers 0, Sutton 1.
The puck dropped for the second period and Tigers 2 knew they needed to up their game! Sutton continued to put on the pressure with Tigers netminder, Zack Brown making some dramatic and crucial saves. Tigers began to pick up the tempo and Sutton decided to take a time out at 35:50. Following this, a set of smooth passes from Bowley and Keyes gave Tigers’ forward James Smith the perfect opportunity to get the puck in Sting’s net at 38:34. The period ended with an equal score line, 12 shots on Tigers and only 7 shots on Sting’s Warren Gilfoyle.
With only one goal apiece, both teams had all to play for in the third and final period of the game. The puck dropped and Tigers 2 were determined to take away the win! With only 51 seconds passed on the clock for the second period, #94 James Smith shoots and scores the Tigers’ second goal of the game.
Sutton weren’t backing down and continued to battle on, in hope of another goal! They responded only 8 minutes later with their second goal at 48:10 from yet again, Ryan Johnson. With the score line showing 2 goals apiece, both teams started to get gritty. A bench penalty for Sutton at 49:15 gave Tigers 2 some goal scoring opportunities however, they didn’t manage to capitalise on the powerplay. With shots from both sides again keeping both netminders busy, it was Sutton that found the back of the Tigers’ net. The goal wasn’t given and play continued. During the next break in play, talks between the linesmen and referee resulted in Sutton being awarded their 3rd goal. In addition to the goal, the clock was rewound back to the goal time of 55:57. This then lead to Tigers 2 taking their time out, at the same time of 55:57.
With less than 5 minutes remaining in the game, Tigers 2 pulled out all the stops and player coach Callum Bowley managed to break through and score the Tigers’ equalising goal at 57:16, assisted by #4 Jets and #75 Preece. With less than 3 minutes left of regulation time, both teams were determined to get another goal yet neither could finish any chances.
The buzzer went for the end of regulation time and both teams gathered together in preparation of going into overtime. The starting three for Tigers was #4 Jets, #91 Hammerton and #94 Smith and once the puck dropped the pressure was on! Both teams were focused and showed some skilful passing but it was all over within 90 seconds of going into overtime… Tigers’ D-man #66 Matt Price took a shot and scored the winning goal, assisted by #39 Joe Aston.
The Tigers bench roared, as did all the fans in the stands with what was now the 8th consecutive win for Tigers 2 this season.
The Tigers’ man of the match was awarded to #75 Liam Preece.
Also, a big Congratulations to #90 Zack Brown who was presented with his award for the NIHL Laidler Player of the Month for December.
Tigers 1 will next be at home at the Telford Ice Rink against Streatham London in the 2nd leg of the NIHL National Cup on Saturday 20th January and Tigers 2 will next be at home on Sunday 21st January where they will be hosting Coventry Blaze NIHL for their final encounter this season.