Tigers Shoot-Out Victory is Taylor Made. Hexagon Telford Tigers returned to Telford Ice Rink for a National Division game against Swindon Wildcats on Sunday night. Tigers had won away in Romford against London Raiders the previous evening 7-3. Swindon came into the game off the back of a thumping 5-0 victory at home over Peterborough Phantoms.
Tigers were still without their injured captain Jason Silverthorn and Corey Goodison but were able to add James Smith to the line up.
Tigers had started all three previous games badly and conceded early on in all of them. The writing looked on the wall, when in just the 2nd minute, Thomas McKinnon was called for holding, giving Swindon an early power play. It was Tigers, however, who opened the scoring whilst short handed. Tigers’ Czech Republic import forward Dominik Florian took advantage of a Swindon line change, picked up the puck at centre ice and skated in on Swindon net minder Renny Marr. Florian stick-handled and slid the puck past Marr low down to his left for a fantastic solo effort to give Tigers an early lead.
As the period progressed, Swindon started to get a foot hold in the game, player coach Aaron Nell went close with a shot that rang off the post. Shortly after, Nell drew the Wildcats level with a shot from a tight angle that Tigers’ net minder Brad Day was unable to stop.
Tigers responded well to the Swindon goal and went close twice, Scott McKenzie shot just over with a good chance and Fin Howells shot straight at Marr with a wrist shot from close range.
Swindon went close as the period came to a close. Sam Bullas just failed to tip Nell’s shot into an empty net and the teams ended an entertaining period tied at 1-1.
The 2nd period was as close as the first. Swindon’s Floyd Taylor was called for interference giving Tigers an early power play. Swindon almost scored immediately, despite the numerical disadvantage when a Tigers’ attack broke down giving Nell an opportunity to pass to Jan Kostal who was wide open in front of goal. Day pulled off a magnificent glove save to deny Swindon their second. Tigers did not learn their lesson and gifted Swindon a 2-on-0 breakaway but once again, Day denied Wildcats’ Edgars Bebris with an even better save then the previous one, tipping the puck over the bar.
The only goal of the period was scored in the 36th minute by Swindon. Tigers’ defender Ross Kennedy was bumped into Day by a Swindon attacker, knocking both of them over. The puck was behind the net and in the possession of Nell, the Swindon attacker, who banked the puck in off the prone Day to give the Wiltshire side the lead.
Tigers were given an early opportunity to level the game early in the 3rd period. Swindon’s Stephen Whitfield was given a clipping penalty giving Tigers a power play. A minute into the man advantage, Adam Taylor passed from behind the goal to the onrushing Andy McKinney, who beat Marr with a low shot to draw the Tigers level at 2-2. Tigers and Wildcats were evenly matched and an entertaining end to end match saw both teams come close to getting the winner. Day was called on twice late in the period firstly, to make a save on a three-on-two breakaway and then from a great chance for Bebris from close range, to ensure parity.
The game ended level in regulation time resulting in a 5 minute sudden death three-on-three overtime period. Tigers went closest to getting the win when Florian was denied by Marr after a brilliant breakaway. The teams could not be separated in overtime meaning the game would go to a penalty shoot out.
Tigers went first and scored when McKenzie beat Marr low down. Tomasz Malasinski went next for Swindon and missed when his wrist shot hit the post and bounced wide. Florian then scored a superb goal for Tigers, showing fantastic stick handling skills to outwit Marr and slide the puck past the net minder. Nell beat Day with a shot through his legs on Swindon’s next attempt, leaving Adam Taylor the chance to win the game. The Tigers’ winger raced in on Marr at speed and smashed the puck past him to send the Tigers’ fans wild in celebration and give the team a 4 point weekend.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 3 Swindon Wildcats 2 (Tigers win on penalty shoot out).
Scorers: Dominik Florian and Andy McKinney.
Man of the match: Brad Day.
After the game Tigers Head Coach, Tom Watkins commented, “It was a great result, which is the only thing that matters. It was not our best performance of the season but we managed to grind out a win which is huge. Brad Day had a strong game and kept us in it at times.
We couldn’t find a spark in the first two periods but Brad made a string of fine saves as we seemed off the pace at times for two periods, but the game was still within our reach as we went into the third.
We got better as the game wore on and I was pleased with how we played in the third period and overtime. To score all three penalty shots in the shoot out was excellent. That’s a big 4 point weekend, I’m pleased with that and think this group has shown a lot of character this weekend.”
Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 will next be in action on home ice this Sunday against Hull Pirates. Match Night tickets available to purchase here!