Telford Tigers 1 played local rivals Solihull Barons on Sunday night in an NIHL North league game at Hobbs Moat. Tigers had kept up their excellent start to the season on Saturday night with a 5-2 win in the National Cup against Basingstoke Bison. Goals came from Jason Silverthorn (2), Adam Taylor, Joe Miller and Jack Watkins.
Telford took on a Solihull team that had many ex-Tigers in their squad, including Luke Brittle, Tomas Janak and Josh Bruce. Tigers had a 100 percent record going into the game after victories over Sheffield and Nottingham in the opening weekend of the season and the back to back cup wins over Basingstoke.
The first period was an even one with both teams creating chances but unable to finish. Solihull were first on the scoreboard when Mulcahey beat Bell with a shot into the right corner of the net after 6 minutes. Tigers had plenty of offensive zone time but Solihull did well blocking shots from Jonathan Weaver and Jack and Tom Watkins. Tigers pressure finally paid off when, in the thirteenth minute, a slick passing move between Corey Goodison and Ricky Plant left Joe Miller free in the slot to cooly fire home.
Solihull had a goal disallowed late on in the period for having a player in the goal crease, leaving the game finely balanced.
The second period saw four goals, with Tigers striking first on twenty three minutes when Dan Mitchell scored his first ever senior goal with a backhanded wrist shot into the top left hand corner to give Tigers a 2-1 lead. Solihull tied the game just two minutes later when another former Tiger, Marcus Maynard, scored on the power play, tipping a shot past Dennis Bell in the Tigers’ goal. Telford regained the lead in the thirtieth minute when Jack Watkins outmuscled the Solihull defence to skate in on the net minder and score with a shot low into the net. Tigers then had a good chance to extend the lead with a power play, but it was Solihull who equalised, whilst shorthanded, when Tigers didn’t clear a puck from behind their goal leaving Luke Brittle unmarked to score from close range and level the game at three all. Danny Rose then hit the post in the final minute with a shot from the blue line, but the period would end with the sides level.
The third period saw Tigers take control of the game when, in the forty sixth minute, Weaver scored a powerful slap shot into the top right hand corner to give Tigers a deserved lead that they would not relinquish. Solihull continued to press for the equaliser and pulled their net minder with 45 seconds left to have an extra attacker. This allowed captain Silverthorn to score an empty net goal after he out battled two Solihull defenders to slide the puck home much to the delight of the sizeable following from Shropshire.
Final Score Solihull Barons 3 Telford Tigers 5
Man of the Match – Dan Mitchell.
After the game, Player Coach Tom Watkins said: “Tonight was a good road win, Solihull is a tough building to play in and they made it a tough night for us. This was especially hard after the road trip to Basingstoke the night before, when we were playing short benched and were a little gassed coming in here tonight. The important thing is that we got the job done and head home with the points.
After the departure this week of Macauley Halford, Watkins said “I will be doing my best to add to the roster this week”.