Tigers Tame Lions in Nine Goal Victory. Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 took on the Nottingham Lions at Telford Ice Rink on Saturday night in the first of back to back games against the team at the bottom of the league. The Lions had failed to register a single point so far this season so Tigers were fully expecting to close the gap on league leaders Sheffield Steeldogs, who were taking a night off after losing in the Autumn Cup final on Friday night to Peterborough Phantoms.
Tigers were able to add Warren Tait to the line up after his return from injury, leaving only Denis Bell absent from the roster. Tigers also added were Callum Griffin and Henry Adams from the D2 roster.
As expected, Tigers started the game with considerable possession of the puck and if it hadn’t have been for the excellence of Nottingham net minder Miles Finney, Tigers would have been out of sight in the 1st period. Early on, Nick Oliver hit the post but Tigers finally broke the deadlock in the 7th minute. Jonathan Weaver broke into the Nottingham defensive zone and made a perfect drop pass for Scott McKenzie to skate onto and hammer a wrist shot over Finney’s glove to give Tigers the lead. Tigers continued to pepper Finney’s goal with shots but the net minder blocked almost everything shot at him. Eventually though Tigers made the pressure pay in the 15th minute. Weaver hitting a trademark slap shot from the right circle that beat Finney low down to give Tigers a two nil lead at the end of the period.
Tigers picked up where they left off in the 2nd period when just five minutes into the period, Tigers net minder Sam Gospel cleared the puck to Andy McKinney who in turn sent Griffin clear on goal, Griffin placed an excellent wrist shot into the top corner of the goal to increase Tigers’ lead to three. That goal seemed to open the floodgates as Tigers added a further three goals in just two minutes. The fourth goal was the best goal of the game. Danny Rose skated from behind his own goal, the whole length of the ice before firing a low shot past Finney. Corey Goodison then added a fifth with a shot from the centre of the Nottingham defensive zone that went through Finney into the net. The three goal burst was then completed when Jordan Stokes’ shot was tipped past Finney by Jed Moreland for Tigers’ sixth goal. Nottingham showed terrific effort throughout the game and were finally rewarded in the 34th minute, Ruskin Hughes’ shot was saved by Gospel but Tyler Poole was first to the rebound and managed to squeeze his shot past Gospel into the net to give Nottingham a consolation goal. Tigers responded with a seventh goal, Ricky Plant passing from behind the goal to the unmarked Jason Silverthorn to apply the finish from close range.
Coach Tom Watkins was allowed the luxury of resting Clarkson, Plant, Weaver and Silverthorn for the final period, allowing some of the younger players to get more ice time. Tigers scored two further goals to settle the contest. McKenzie added his second of the night with a deft deflection from Adams’ pass and McKinney rounded off the scoring with a close range finish from a rebound off McKenzie’s shot for the ninth goal.
Tigers’ win keeps them in third place in the league and narrows the gap to leaders Sheffield to just one point.
Final Score: Hexagon Telford Tigers 9 Nottingham Lions 1.
Scorers: Scott McKenzie (2), Callum Griffin, Jonathan Weaver, Danny Rose, Corey Goodison, Jason Silverthorn, Andy McKinney and Jed Moreland.
Man of the match: Callum Griffin.
After the game coach Tom Watkins said, “It was a simple two points for us this evening. The score could have been far greater having dominated possession and territory for most the game. We were able to rest several players at the end of the second period giving increased ice time to some of the guys.”
Hexagon Telford Tigers 1 return to play at Telford Ice Rink Saturday 23rd December at 18:00 in the NIHL Moralee Conference against Sheffield Steeldogs. Hexagon Telford Tigers 2 are next in home action at Telford Ice Rink on Sunday 16th December at 18:00 in the NIHL Laidler Conference against Blackburn Hawks 2.