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Tigers Buzzing after Home Win

Hexagon Telford Tigers started the first of back to back games against Bees with a home game. Tigers had lost their last three games and had seen the teams below them narrow the gap in the league table. Telford needed to get back to winning ways but were without Deakan Fielder who was suspended for both games against Bees after being ejected from the game against Swindon for boarding. Also missing were Joe Aston, Connor Lee and Jake Price.

A scrappy first period burst into life in the eleventh minute when Telford took the lead. A Vladimir Luka shot was saved by Brett Shepherd in the Bees’ goal but the puck fell perfectly to Scott McKenzie who shot into the open net to start the scoring. Three minutes later McKenzie returned the favour and sent a drop pass to Luka who skated in on goal and shot over Shepherd’s shoulder to double the lead.

Bees pulled a goal back late in the period when on the power play after Henry Adams was awarded a clipping penalty.  Ed Bradley passed to Marcel Balaz who scored from close range.

The second period was a wild one with seven goals being scored and defending seemed optional!

Seconds into the period Bees should have scored when Dominik Gabaj missed an open net. But Tigers reprieve was momentary as Balaz scored his second of the game shortly after to tie the game up.

A Gianni Vitali tripping penalty gave Tigers a power play and they took full advantage of the extra attacker to regain the lead. Fin Howells skated through the Bees defence and shot low past Shepherd.  Bees hit back within a minute with a goal from Gabaj.

Tigers regained the lead again with another power play goal after Balaz was called for tripping. Luka’s shot beat Shepherd but sat in the crease and Jesse Sutton was first to react, tapping home from almost on the goal line.

The home side were very lucky not to concede when it looked like the puck had crossed the line from a Bees’ shot that had hit Brad Day and trickled behind him. Before the officials saw it the puck was cleared and the “goal” was not awarded. Tigers’ luck ran out shortly after when once again the Bees levelled the game. Adam Rosbottom tapping in from close range.

The final thirty seconds of the period were frantic and saw Tigers go ahead again. McKenzie sent Luka clear on goal and he beat Shepherd with a neat move and low finish as he was being slashed by a Bees’ defender. Luka scored then cross checked the defender in retaliation and saw a penalty called against him after the goal was awarded. 

Bees scored the seventh goal of the period on the subsequent power play when Vanya Antonov shot past Day with only three seconds of the period left.

Tigers opened the the third period with a goal after a minute and it was top scorer Luka that got the go ahead goal. Howell’s shot was saved by Shepherd but Luka pounced on the rebound and shot high into the net from a tight angle to complete his hat trick. With Tigers ahead again they managed the puck well and the game looked beyond Bees with five minutes left when Howells scored his second of the game to put the home side two goals ahead. A superb pass from behind the goal by McKenzie saw the entire Bees’ defence and Shepherd looking the other way as Howells tapped the puck into the open net from the top of the crease.

With the concession of the goal, Bees called a time out and then pulled Shepherd from goal for the last three minutes of the game. Some resolute defending kept Bees out despite their the advantage of an extra attacker and a determined Jaden Peca chased down a Bees’ defender behind the goal in the dying seconds of the game. Peca stole the puck and shot into the empty net to seal a much needed victory for Telford. 

Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 8 Bees 5.

Scorers: Vladimir Luka (3), Fin Howells (2), Jesse Sutton, Scott McKenzie and Jaden Peca.

Man of the match: Jaden Peca.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented,”We found a way to win and got it done in the third period when it mattered. Prior to that it was a game of cat and mouse and it was hard to shake them off. 

We didn’t defend anywhere near hard enough around the front of our net, we know the weapons they have and we were guilty of allowing too many soft chances which resulted in goals from the blue paint. That said our third period was much improved and I’m very pleased to get the points.” 

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