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Tigers Defensive Lapses Prove Costly

Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Yorkshire to take on struggling Sheffield Steeldogs in an early afternoon face off in the National League. Tigers had won a thrilling contest against Raiders the previous evening and were facing Sheffield having beaten the hosts by 10 goals to 4 last weekend.

Tigers made a sloppy start to the game and found themselves two goals behind in the opening five minutes. With Michael Danecko serving a tripping penalty, Brad Doxey broke away and scored a short handed goal. Then an error by Brad Day gifted Sheffield a goal. Day attempted to play the puck to Archie Hazeldine but instead gave it to Jack Brammer whose first shot was saved but he scored on the rebound.  Tigers finally started to get going as the period entered the final five minutes and they pulled a goal back when Jesse Sutton hit a back handed shot into the top corner of the Sheffield net to halve the deficit. Three minutes later the teams were level. Scott McKenzie got the final touch to the puck during a goalmouth scramble.

But as Tigers thought they would end the period level they were behind again. Jonathan Kirk hit a shot from the slot that went through Day’s legs to give the home side a third goal.

At the start of the second period Telford fell further behind when a defensive turnover in front of goal allowed James Spurr a simple tap in to double Sheffield’s lead. Five minutes later the Steeldogs had a fifth goal. Spurr scoring again with a shot that beat Day low down and ended the Telford net minder’s game as he was pulled from goal and replaced by back up Matty Bloor.

Telford’s were out of luck shortly after when a slap shot by Vladimir Luka beat Dimitri Zimozdra in the Sheffield goal but hit the post and bounced to safety.

Tigers gained a lifeline in the game with a piece of individual brilliance from McKenzie. The Tigers’ captain skated in on goal and hit a back handed shot into the roof of the net.

At the start of the third period Tigers pulled another goal back. Louie Newell sent a shot in on goal which Sutton deflected into the net.  Then shortly after the visitors were level. With Brammer in the penalty box Telford scored a power play goal when Hazeldine’s shot was deflected past Zimozdra by Fin Howells.

But a minute later Sheffield scored their own power play goal when Hazeldine was called for tripping allowing Brammer to score his second of the game.

With Telford pushing for an equaliser they got caught out again defensively when a turnover allowed Vladislav’s Vulkanovs to break away and score.

Harry Ferguson pulled a goal back with a shot into the top corner of the Sheffield goal to narrow the lead again with eight minutes of the game left to play.

But Telford could not get the equaliser in the remainder of the game and suffer a disappointing defeat.

Final Score: Sheffield Steeldogs 7 Hexagon Telford Tigers 6.

Scorers: Scott McKenzie (2), Jesse Sutton (2), Harry Ferguson and Fin Howells.

Man of the match: Scott McKenzie.

After the game Head Coach Ton Watkins, commented, “That was not good enough. We didn’t turn up at all, Played terrible hockey, no grit or physicality throughout the game and obviously last night’s awful second period wasn’t enough of a wake up call. Very poor individual performances today and there were far too many errors, too many players out of position and we lost too many puck battles.

We are not good enough as a team to choose when we turn up and put in a sold disciplined effort. We have to be better.”

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