Tigers on Cloud Nine. Hexagon Telford Tigers played their only game of the weekend after having Saturday off. Tigers sat in eighth place in the league after Basingstoke leapfrogged them with a victory over Bees the day before. With Bison a point and a place ahead of Telford and also having a game in hand on the hosts, this was a game that Telford had to win if they wanted to finish as high as seventh in the league.
Tigers remained without Corey Goodison and the suspended Deakan Fielder.
Telford started the game in the perfect way by opening the scoring in the third minute. Tom Carlon outmuscled Bison defender Brendan Baird and took the puck behind the Basingstoke goal, then sent a perfect pass to Rory Herrman who hit a first time shot past Jordan Lawday in the Bison goal. Telford dominated most of the opening period and had a second goal in the ninth minute with a carbon copy of the first goal. This time Scott McKenzie sent a pass from the other side of the goal to Fin Howells who hit a first time shot past Lawday into the same spot Herrman had a few minutes earlier.
Tigers added a third when good battling at centre ice by Brodie Jesson allowed Lucas Price to take control of the puck, enter the Bison defensive zone and shoot through Lawday and into the net. Less than a minute later the lead was up to four. A shot from the blue line by Herrman was tipped past Lawday by Carlon who was stood in front of the goal.
The period ended with Tigers in complete control when they scored a fifth goal. Vladimir Luka showed composure to retain puck possession until a pass was available and sent the puck across the blue line to Henry Adams who advanced on goal and sent a shot in off the post.
Tigers continued the domination in the second period. Midway through, Adams scored his second goal of the game with a terrific finish after skating out of defense and sending an unstoppable wrist shot in off the bar. Telford added a seventh goal less than thirty seconds later. Rhodes Mitchell-King sent Howells clear on goal with a pass from his own blue line. Howells took his time and picked out the corner of the net with a low shot to send Lawday out of the game as he skated off after the goal, to be replaced by Alex Mettam.
Basingstoke tried to a least get a consolation goal but Brad Day in the Tigers’ goal was in superb form stopping two breakaways and making save after save to keep the Bison forwards from scoring.
Early in the third period, Basingstoke finally got on the scoreboard with a goal from Hallam Wilson. Tigers struck back straight away with their eighth goal of the night. McKenzie unselfishly setting up Ricky Plant for a tap in. Basingstoke kept trying all game and were rewarded with a second goal when Wilson scored from close range. Then whilst shorthanded, Bison added a third when Gael Lubwele broke away on goal and finished with a neat wrist shot past Day.
Tigers had the last say on the scoreboard in the final minute of the game when Herrman hit a wrist shot from in the slot that hit the post and went in to seal a terrific performance and send the crowd home happy.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 9 Basingstoke Bison 3.
Scorers: Rory Herrman (2), Fin Howells (2), Henry Adams (2), Lucas Price, Tom Carlon and Ricky Plant.
Man of the match: Henry Adams.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “We made a fast start to the game and every player made a difference in a very important game against one of the two clubs we are in a playoff race with. I thought we played smart hockey and managed the puck particularly well and did a great job of getting bodies to the net.”
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