Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Yorkshire to take on league leaders Leeds Knights after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Peterborough the day before. With a very short bench, Telford put up a great fight and narrowly lost to the Phantoms. Leeds had beaten Tigers every time they have met this season and this was going to be a tough test for the understrength Telford roster with Aidan Wilson, Jake Price, Lucas Price, James Smith and Joe Aston joining the long list of absent players for the visitors.
Matty Bloor made his first start in goal for Telford since joining the club in the summer.
Tigers were caught out early in the game and Leeds’ top scorer Kieran Brown opened the scoring in the third minute. Bloor was the busier of the two net minders and ended the period with fifteen shots against him.
Tigers lost their way in the second period and conceded four goals. Leeds import forward Mac Howlett scored a natural hat trick with the Tigers defense going AWOL at times. Howlett took advantage of some lax defending to score three goals in a row in an eight minute spell that the home team dominated. Oli Endicott rounded off the scoring in the period to put the game beyond Telford and Leeds 5-0 ahead.
In the third period, Telford defended slightly better but conceded a sixth goal whilst shorthanded. With Endicott in the penalty box for tripping Leeds broke away and scored through Matt Haywood.
A miserable night ended with Tigers unable to score and a second defeat of the weekend.
Final Score: Leeds Knights 6 Hexagon Telford Tigers 0.
Man of the match: Matty Bloor.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “I’m not disappointed that we lost it’s how we lost which is where we need to focus. We were very sloppy in all areas of the ice in the second period and if you give good players good opportunities in good areas they will take advantage and Leeds did that. We have to play the right way and in the second period the execution and discipline wasn’t there. Matty Bloor came into the team tonight and did a great job against a very good team. It takes time to adjust to this level but we see his ability and work ethic every week in practice. He battles and competes for every puck and he’s very quick with good athleticism and had a very good attitude.”