Hexagon Telford Tigers took to the road for a long journey down to Romford to face the Raiders. Tigers had beaten their opponents in Telford in overtime the last time the two sides met. Telford have had a poor record in Romford recently and were looking to put that right. Jesse Sutton was able to return after suspension and was joined by fellow Canadian import forward Jaden Peca who made his debut. The team were also delighted to welcome back Nick Oliver from injury although Jonathan Weaver, Sam Watkins, Ricky Plant and Danny Rose were still unavailable.
An uneventful first period saw the home side score the only goal in the fourth minute through Elliott Dewey.
Early in the second period Tigers equalised with a first goal for the club from Sutton who was set up by Fin Howells.
Midway through the game, Vladimir Luka was called for hooking and Raiders regained the lead on the subsequent power play. Adam Laishram scoring for the hosts.
Within a minute of the period left, Telford were level. The in-form Harry Ferguson scored after being set up by Rhodes Mitchell-King.
The third period was close and, as the game neared the final five minutes, both teams were wary of any mistakes. Tigers looked like they had won the game when Joe Aston set up Lucas Price to give Telford the lead. But only a minute later, Jake Sylvester equalised for the home side.
Tigers imploded after conceding the goal as Oliver and Ferguson gave away needless penalties and gave the home team an extended 5 on 3 power play to end the period. Some magnificent defending and Brad Day on top form saw Tigers kill off both penalties and send the game to overtime.
With both teams having a power play in overtime, the extra period was disjointed and neither team could score which meant the game would be settled by a penalty shoot out.
Laishram scored with Raiders’ first attempt and Luka scored with Tigers’ first attempt. Misses by Sylvester, Nick Leyer and Aaron Connelly for Raiders and Scott McKenzie and Howells for Tigers were cancelled out by a Sutton goal for Telford, meaning Mikey Power had to score for Raiders to extend the shoot out. Power’s shot went wide of Brad Day’s goal and Telford won a valuable two points on the road.
Final Score: Raiders 3 Hexagon Telford Tigers 4 (after penalty shoot out).
Scorers: Jesse Sutton, Harry Ferguson and Lucas Price.
Man of the match: Jesse Sutton.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins commented, “Romford is a very tough place to go as they are a team who play extremely hard, they are very direct and are well organised.
That’s a big win on the road after a long travel day. We were made to work very hard and didn’t help ourselves turning a lot of pucks over in the defensive zone and neutral zone.
With us having players returning and new players in the line up, we are finding our feet and looking at different situations which will take a little time for us to get comfortable with one another but that was a fully committed, battling display.”