Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Hull on the back of a win against their opponents Hull Seahawks the previous evening and on a two game winning run. Tigers had beaten Hull 4-3 in a close game in Telford and were expecting another tough game, despite having beaten the Seahawks three times already this season.
Tigers were without Jaden Peca – who was serving the final game of his three game suspension, Zaine McKenzie and Jake Price along with a number of other long term absentees.
The opening period was goalless but Tigers were indebted to Brad Day as the Tigers’ netminder made a number of terrific saves to keep the Seahawks at bay.
Early in the second period the visitors took the lead. Jesse Sutton found Tom Byrne unmarked in the right circle and Byrne hit a precise shot into the top corner of the Hull goal. The home side regained parity six minutes later when Emil Svec skated in on goal and hit a perfect wrist shot along the ice to Day’s right to score.
Svec went from hero to villain when he was called for a high stick penalty and as his infraction had cut his opponent, it was upgraded to a four minute penalty. Tigers’ power play was not at its best but, towards the end of the second of the two power plays, they regained the lead. Louie Newell’s pass was perfectly deflected into the net by Jesse Sutton from the side of the goal putting Telford a goal ahead. Less than a minute later the lead was doubled. Vladimir Luka led a 2-on-1 breakaway and shot at McLaughlin, forcing a rebound which fell nicely for Fin Howells to fire home.
The home side pushed hard for a goal in the third period and Tigers’ defence and Day in goal stood tall. The visitors missed a glorious chance to put the game away when Howells somehow shot wide with a chance from close range when it looked easier to score.
Hull gained some momentum from the miss and it was no surprise when it was Svec who scored for the Seahawks to get them back in the game. With three minutes left, Sam Towner sent a pass towards goal and Svec expertly deflected it past Day.
Hull pulled McLaughlin from goal for the final minute of the game to add an extra attacker. Almost immediately, Tigers scored. Howells sent a shot from his own defensive zone into the empty net to make up for his earlier miss and to score his fourth goal of the weekend.
As the final seconds ticked away, Lucas Price sent Luka in on goal and Tigers had the final say on the scoreboard with a superb finish from Luka sending McLaughlin one way and the puck the other way into the net to seal a great road win and a four point weekend.
Final Score: Hull Seahawks 2 Hexagon Telford Tigers 5.
Scorers: Fin Howells (2), Tom Byrne, Jesse Sutton and Vladimir Luka.
Man of the match: Nick Oliver.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “I am delighted with our performance tonight, every player played hard for each other, sacrificing their bodies to block shots. Our penalty kill was instrumental tonight once again and despite not feeling the power play was very slick, we got one power play goal which shows how important special teams are to the end result.
We missed two very very good chances late in the game which would have put the game out of reach. When they don’t go in, you think you have left the door open for them to get back in the game but we continued to play with good poise to ensure we came up with the win.”