Telford Tigers first games under the new structure as Telford Tigers 1 and 2 saw both teams feature in a friendly on Saturday night, ahead of next week’s opening league fixtures. Tigers 2 hosted Coventry Blaze NIHL and Tigers 1 faced Billingham Stars away.
Tigers 2, led for the first time by player / coach Callum Bowley, claimed a 6-3 victory after a feisty game full of penalties at Telford Ice Rink.
Coventry took the lead with just a minute gone with a goal from Robert Perks and added a second goal 10 minutes later when Luke Curtis scored on the power play. Tigers scored late in the first period when James Smith took advantage of a poor pass from Coventry to fire home a short handed goal from close range. Tigers ended the period on top but trailing 2-1.
The second period saw a feast of goals and penalties with Tigers taking six penalties in total and Coventry three. Constant pressure from the Tigers paid off when, after 22 minutes, Charlie Hammerton scored an equaliser. With both sides exchanging penalties it was no surprise when the next two goals were scored on the power play. Tigers getting goals through Callum Bowley and James Smith to lead 4-2 at the end of the second period.
The third period continued in the same vein as the previous two, with both sides evenly matched, but it was Coventry who scored next, reducing the lead on 46 minutes with a goal from close range. The game then slipped away from Coventry, when Connor Keyes received a 5 minute match penalty for head butting. Tigers took advantage of the power play scoring twice through Bowley and Karol Jets to seal a 6-3 win.
In Billingham, Tigers 1 opened their pre-season friendlies with the first of back to back games against last years NIHL runners up Billingham Stars. Tigers 1 ran out 8-1 winners. Amongst the goals were Jonathan Weaver, Jason Silverthorn, Rick Plant and Jack Watkins.