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Tigers Dig Deep to Gain Point

Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to home ice on the back of four consecutive wins and three points behind their opponents Peterborough. With points vital in the push for the play offs Telford needed to gain their first victory over the Phantoms in the league this season having lost all three previous fixtures between the two teams.

Tigers have been short benched of late and were still without the suspended Aidan Wilson, Jake Price, Lucas Price, Joe Aston, James Smith and Archie Hazeldine. Head Coach Tom Watkins returned to the bench after his two game suspension.

A goalless first period saw little in the way of clear cut chances at either end but Tigers went closest when Harry Ferguson forced a fantastic save from Peterborough net minder Jordan Marr.

With no goals scored in the first period the second period was full of goals and Tigers scored first in the opening minute of the second period. Vladimir Luka won the puck and sent a pass to allow Scott McKenzie to skate in on goal. With the whole rink expecting a shot, McKenzie sent the puck across goal to Fin Howells to shoot into the open net.

But Tigers fell asleep after scoring and saw the Phantoms equalise forty seconds later through Duncan Spiers. 

Tigers hit back three minutes later with another well crafted goal. Luka and Howells exchanged passes to find McKenzie who faked a shot to send Marr the wrong way and then sent the puck into the net.

Referee Hands caused uproar with the home fans when he missed a blatant kneeing penalty by Ralfs Circenis who caught Jaden Peca with a dangerous hit but no penalty was called. Peca took exception to the hit but was called for roughing and interference and the missed call cost Tigers as Peterborough were given a power play. The Phantoms scored when a shot went in off the post from Tom Norton which drew the sides level.

Peterborough took the lead shortly after when a high sticking penalty on Howells had just expired but before Telford could regroup Circenis scored with a low shot.

Telford equalised with five minutes of the period left. Some persistent pressure on Marr’s goal saw the puck break for Howells to fire home from close range.

But Peterborough would score the final goal of the period to regain the lead through Luke Ferrara.

At the start of the third period, Peterborough added a fifth goal with Ferrara scoring his second of the game with a low shot into the corner of Day’s goal.

Another penalty against Tigers was called – tripping against Louie Newell – but it would be Tigers that scored next despite the numerical disadvantage. Jaden Peca won a puck battle on the Phantoms’ blue line and skated in on goal and shot the puck into the roof of the net to halve the deficit.  

With five minutes of the third period left, Telford were level. A shot from the top of the right circle by Jesse Sutton snuck past Marr to give Tigers a deserved equaliser.

Telford had to see off one final Peterborough power play in the final minutes of the game after McKenzie was called for tripping. A resolute Tigers penalty kill prevented a goal and Peca was superb throughout making a number of crucial blocks.

With no further scoring the game went to overtime. 

With just fourteen seconds gone in overtime the Phantoms broke away and Ferrara completed his hat trick with a low shot to win the game.

Tigers gain a deserved point but lost the game.

Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 5 Peterborough Phantoms 6 (after Overtime).

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

Man of the match: Jaden Peca.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “ I don’t think I can ask any more of the team this evening. All the players put in a shift and then some!

The game was played at a good pace despite us missing eleven players once again and was very close all night. We were very solid through the first period, our neutral zone forecheck turned over a number of pucks which allowed us to counter. Despite scoring some very well taken goals in the game, I can’t help but feel we got away from our structure in the second period and gave up a couple of soft goals and undoubtably the non-call on a Peterborough player changes the game massively. He intentionally sticks his knee out on Jaden Peca which is an extremely dangerous play but there is no call and I’m not surprised we react to protect ourselves if the officials can’t protect us. That changes the game, no doubt about it. 

The team dug very deep to come back and earn a point after coming from behind and then have a massive penalty kill with Jaden I think blocking four or five shots on that penalty kill alone. It hurts to lose in overtime but the level of performance was something we can build on.

We also want to wish referee Roy Hamilton our best wishes as he was taken ill during the game.”

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