Tigers Complete Successful Border Raid. Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 took a long road trip to Dumfries Ice Bowl to take on Solway Sharks in the first of back to back games against the Sharks in the NIHL Moralee Division this weekend. Tigers will also play back to back games against Solway in February in the NIHL North Cup Semi Final.
Tigers had kept pace with leaders Sheffield with victories over Sutton Sting and Blackburn Hawks the previous weekend and knew that they could not afford a slip up against the team in fourth place in the league. Solway have proven a dangerous opponent over the last two years and had beaten Hull Pirates in a recent league game. Tigers were without Sam Gospel, Dan Mitchell and Joe Hazeldine.
Tigers made the best possible start to the game when, with just 21 seconds gone, Scott McKenzie was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked by Ross Murray when through on goal. McKenzie fired in the penalty shot to give Tigers the lead. This lead would only last just over a minute as Solway’s Scott Henderson levelled the scores, beating Tigers’ net minder Tom Hovell with a low shot. Tigers then handed an advantage to Solway when Andy McKinney took an interference penalty and then Nick Oliver took a tripping penalty giving the Sharks a two man advantage. Tigers managed to kill off the first penalty but before the second penalty had expired, Henderson scored his second of the game from close range to give Solway the lead. Tigers ended the period on top and drew level in the 19th minute. Tigers were on a power play after Connor Henderson had been awarded a tripping penalty. Jonathan Weaver and Corey Goodison combined to send Ricky Plant in on goal. Plant completed a cool finish with a wrist shot. As the period was entering the final few seconds, Tigers had one final break, Warren Tait found Jack Watkins in space and with just four seconds of the period left Watkins’ shot beat Calum Hepburn in the Solway goal to give Tigers a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period.
Tigers were given a lucky break in the 30th minute when Solway had a goal disallowed and also hit the post, but the luck ran out two minutes later as Solway drew level when Kyle Horne netted Solway’s 3rd goal.
Tigers regained the lead three minutes later, when Doug Clarkson hammered home a shot from McKinney’s pass to put Tigers 4-3 ahead. Just as Tigers had scored late in the 1st period, they did again in the 2nd period. With just three seconds left on the clock, McKenzie scored his second of the game after being set up by Jason Silverthorn to give Tigers a 5-3 lead.
Tigers increased their lead in the 44th minute, with Silverthorn scoring the sixth goal. Tigers scored again a minute later with a long range shot from Corey Goodison for the seventh goal, taking the game beyond Solway. Tigers saw out the remainder of the game and, in doing so, keep up the pressure at the top of the table ahead of the return game against Solway in Telford on Sunday.
Final Score: Solway Sharks 3 Hexagon Telford Tigers 7.
Scorers: Scott McKenzie (2), Ricky Plant, Jack Watkins, Doug Clarkson, Corey Goodison and Jason Silverthorn.
Man of the match: Doug Clarkson.
After the game coach Tom Watkins commented, “It was an end to end game with a ton of goals in the first. It certainly could have gone either way after the second period as we were being outshot and out chanced, but despite that we managed to be ahead by two goals and I was conscious of the old saying ‘there is no worse lead than a two goal lead in hockey’. But, we played a solid third period and we were able to capitalise on our chances. I’m looking forward to the reverse fixture tomorrow. Solway are a dangerous team with a very fast transition, I think they hit four posts tonight. I’m sure tomorrow will be another exciting game.”
Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 return to play at Telford Ice Rink Sunday 20th January 2019 at 18:00 in the NIHL Moralee Conference against Solway Sharks. Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 are next in home action at Telford Ice Rink on Saturday 26th January 2019 at 19:00 in the NIHL Laidler Conference against Widnes Wild. For details of all future fixtures, check out the Tigers fixture list and www.telfordtigers.net/tickets for ticket information.