Tigers Fend Off Shark Attack. Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 took a long road trip on Saturday night to Dumfries Ice Bowl to take on Solway Sharks in the NIHL North Cup. Solway had pulled off a shock 6-4 win against Sheffield Steeldogs in their previous game. This result saw them climb to third in the North Cup table, 1 point behind Tigers, albeit having played two games more. Solway had also beaten former EPL team Hull Pirates earlier in the competition but had failed to beat Tigers in the previous meeting between the teams in the cup, which had resulted in a 6-1 win for the team from Shropshire.
Tigers went into the game without the injured Warren Tait and Denis Bell. Tigers were also missing Andy McKinney, but were able to add Jason Silverthorn, Ryan Lewis and Joe Hazeldine to the line up.
The 1st period saw Tigers and Solway have an even game, but as the period went into the second 10 minutes, Tigers took control. Jonathan Weaver opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a slap shot that flew past Solway net minder Jordan McLaughlin giving him no chance. As the period was ending, Tigers had one last break on the Solway goal, Danny Rose combined with Hazeldine to send Brodie Jesson clear. Jesson finished with an excellent wrist shot to score Tigers’ 2nd goal.
In the 27th minute Tigers added a 3rd goal, Doug Clarkson and Hazeldine created an opening for Scott McKenzie to shoot low into the bottom corner of the net. Tigers then scored a 4th goal three minutes later, Ricky Plant finishing off a pass from Silverthorn with a shot from close range. Solway were then given a great opportunity to get back into the game after Joe Aston took a cross checking penalty. The Sharks took full advantage of the extra man when Cale Tanaka beat Tigers’ net minder Tom Hovell to get Solway on the score sheet. Tigers ended the period ahead by 4-1.
In the 3rd period, Tigers Jesson and Solway’s Adam Robinson were both given 4 minute penalties for fighting and the game threatened to spill out of control. As the game entered the final 5 minutes, Tigers’ Nick Oliver was assessed a holding penalty. Solway scored their 2nd goal whilst on the subsequent power play, through Joe Coulter, reducing Tigers’ lead to 2 goals. But Tigers saw the period out and earned an important 2 points. The victory takes Tigers to the top of the cup table a point ahead of Sunday’s opponents Hull Pirates.
Final Score: Solway Sharks 2 Hexagon Telford Tigers 4.
Scorers: Jonathan Weaver, Brodie Jesson, Scott McKenzie and Ricky Plant.
Man of the match: Scott McKenzie.
After the game coach Tom Watkins said, “It was a solid performance on the road. To give up under 20 shots is a great effort from the guys. We played with a lot of energy and turned a lot of pucks over on the forecheck. The guys played a physical game in the right places and it was good to see young Brodie not allowing guys to take liberties and standing up for himself. I think this is a big two points and hopefully sets us up well for a big game tomorrow.”
Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 return to play at Telford Ice Rink Sunday 25th November at 18:00 in the NIHL North Cup against Blackburn Hawks. Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 are next in home action at Telford Ice Rink on Saturday 24th November at 19:00 in the NIHL Laidler Conference against Altrincham Aces.