Tigers Back To Winning Ways. Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to home ice after gaining a point from their road trip to Slough to take on Bees. For the second time this season, the Shropshire side had lost in overtime to the Bees. With injures and availability affecting the team (who were on a five game losing streak) a strong performance and a home win was vital.
Tigers remained without a number of players with Sam Watkins, Danny Rose and Ricky Plant all injured and Jonathan Weaver, Lucas Price and Jaden Peca all unavailable.
The Steeldogs’ style of play made the opening period a scrappy contest with not many clear cut chances for either team. The only goal of the period belonged to the home team. Steeldogs’ Ben Morgan was serving a tripping penalty giving Tigers their first power play of the night. Scott McKenzie took possession of the puck behind the goal and sent a pass into the slot where Vladimir Luka was waiting to hammer home a shot in off the cross bar.
With Sheffield trying to make the game physical, Telford stuck to their game plan and were soon ahead by another goal. Jesse Sutton broke away on goal and then sent a perfectly placed pass across for Luka to hammer into the open net for his second of the game.
Tigers added a third goal three minutes later. Sutton and McKenzie were both involved again when Sutton did well to maintain possession in the Sheffield defensive zone and found McKenzie low down. McKenzie’s shot was saved but rebounded for Joe Aston to slam home.
Sheffield’s Jason Hewitt was no stranger to the penalty box after being called for a cross check earlier in the game and was lucky to avoid a slashing penalty after referee Matthews ignored his infraction. But with Sheffield on a power play after Zaine McKenzie was called for slashing, Hewitt knocked over Brad Day and was called for goaltender interference negating the power play.
Early in the third period Sheffield pulled a goal back. Jonathan Phillips got the last touch during a goalmouth scramble and forced the puck over the line. Tigers defended sensibly for the remainder of the game and kept the Sheffield forwards out. With a minute of the game to play, Sheffield removed Dimitri Zimozdra from the goal to add an extra attacker. Rhodes Mitchell-King managed to pick out the unmarked Luka with a pass from his own defensive zone and Luka coolly despatched the puck into the empty net to complete his hat trick and seal a much needed win for Telford.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 4 Sheffield Steeldogs 1.
Scorers: Vladimir Luka (3) and Joe Aston.
Man of the match: Fin Howells.
After the game Head Coach, Tom Watkins, commented, “That was a very well deserved win after a strong performance by all the team. We played at a good level for the whole game and to play with the lead and control the scoreboard is important for our belief and confidence. The last few weeks have been hard with a tough run of games but 3 points from 4 available this weekend is positive. I’m pleased to get a win on home ice and for the players to play their winning song!”