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Tigers’ Missed Opportunities Prove Costly

Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to home ice after a disappointing defeat against Raiders the previous day which saw the Shropshire side extend a run of defeats to three games. Bristol sat bottom of the table but had ended their own run of defeats in their previous game with an overtime win over Bees.

Tigers still had a long list of absentees and were playing short benched again. Connor Lee, Aidan Wilson, Jake Price, Joe Aston and Matty Bloor were all unavailable.

Tigers made a bright start to the game and led by two goals at the end of the first period. In the fourth minute Jaden Peca opened the scoring with a wrap around goal that hit Bristol net minder Ben Norton on his pads and then trickled past him into the goal.

Then Peca had a hand in the second goal, sending a perfect pass across the slot to Jesse Sutton who hammered a wrist shot past Norton. Sutton and Vladimir Luka both hit the post as Telford went close to a third goal.

At the start of the second period Bristol upped the tempo and pushed Telford back into their own defensive zone. A turnover led to Bristol having a 3-on-1 breakaway and scoring through Bailey Harewood. In the final minute of the period Bristol equalised through Daniel Hardie from close range.

Bristol took advantage of another breakaway when Brennan Feasey scored to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game, in the opening stages of the third period.  

Telford were up against it and threw everything at Norton in the Bristol goal for the rest of the game. Having already hit the post twice, Tigers went on to hit the bar or post another six times in the third period. Fin Howells, Peca twice, Harry Ferguson, Tom Byrne and Sutton all struck the frame of the goal and had no luck with the rebounds falling for Bristol defenders to clear.

For the final minute of the game Telford pulled Day from the goal to add an extra attacker but could not make the numerical advantage pay and Bristol almost scored with a shot from their own defensive zone that struck the post.

Tigers fall to a fourth consecutive defeat but remain sixth in the league.

Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 Bristol Pitbulls 3.

Scorers: Jaden Peca and Jesse Sutton.

Man of the match: Tom Byrne.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “We had plenty of end zone time, plenty of possession, plenty of scoring opportunities but when you don’t capitalise on those opportunities and take a team out of the game you are always going to run the risk of losing. At the end of the first period it should have been 5-0 to us and game over – after we missed three great opportunities. But we weren’t clinical enough in the those key moments. We’ve lacked scoring depth and punch all season, if a couple of the key players in the team aren’t putting the puck in the net other players have to make it happen and that’s something that has hurt us all year. 

We then give up three unanswered goals at home and couldn’t find a way to tie it up. We lack a killer instinct and winning mentality, we have to take ownership of our individual performances and then take collective responsibility for dropping key points at home.”

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