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Tigers Winning Run Ends With Narrow Loss

Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Buckinghamshire to take on the Lighting on a three game winning run. Having broken their previous losing streak with wins against Solway and then a double win against Hull last weekend, Tigers had a tough task against second placed Milton Keynes. Tigers had announced that Zaine McKenzie had left the club earlier this week and also absent were Connor Lee and Jake Price. But Tigers were strengthened with the return of Jaden Peca from suspension.

Barely seconds after the puck had dropped for the first period, Lucas Price and Ross Green dropped the gloves and were both awarded fighting penalties.

The home side struck first nine minutes into the game when Ross Venus beat Brad Day with a low wrist shot to open the scoring. Tigers hit back four minutes later with Jesse Sutton scoring for the visitors.

Lightning regained the lead with two minutes of the period remaining when Venus sent former Tigers’ player Rory Herrman in on goal to score.

Five seconds into the second period James Smith was called for hooking gifting Milton Keynes a power play. Lightning scored with the man advantage with a controversial goal. Herrman was credited with his second goal of the game but he appeared to kick the puck into the net. Both referees ignored the infraction and called a goal. With the home side ahead by two, Tigers fought hard to stay in the game but fell further behind in the last minute of the period when Liam Stewart scored a fourth goal for the home side.

The third period followed the same pattern as the previous two and Milton Keynes put the game beyond Tigers’ reach with a fifth goal from Tim Lawrence with ten minutes left to play.

A late fight back from the visitors saw a Harry Ferguson goal and a power play goal from Vladimir Luka narrow the deficit before Herrman sealed the game in the dying seconds, with a hat trick goal into the empty net after Tigers had pulled Day from goal for the final two minutes.

Final Score: Milton Keynes Lightning 6 Hexagon Telford Tigers 3.

Scorers: Jesse Sutton, Harry Ferguson and Vladimir Luka.

Man of the Match: Harry Ferguson.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “Forget the result for a second, but I think we put in a very good performance, every one of our players played the right way. We battled, we showed a lot of character and pushed really hard for sixty minutes. We moved the puck very well and I thought we had an offensive threat from every line tonight. 

Milton Keynes have a very good line up and whilst Rory Herrman got three goals and two assists, I felt that Ross Venus was the difference this evening. Everything went through him and he makes everyone around him a better player, a bit like Kevin De Bruyne for Man City, he oozed class and is so good on the puck. This league is too easy for him!

I must also comment on the play of young Ryan Leese. His emergence as a sixteen years old defender over the last four to five weeks has been simply outstanding. He’s adjusted well and taken to this level with ease. He really impressed me this evening, you know he’s going to compete he’s a competitor, you know he can win races as he’s a solid skater, but to go against their top line for much of the evening and play the way he played, he was like a young Bobby Orr.  He was composed under pressure, he made some great outlet passes, got our transition moving quickly and rushed a few pucks like a seasoned pro. The best bit is that he’s a great kid with solid work habits. 

The only negative thing for us tonight was the result, we feel a little disappointed with a couple of missed calls that went against us and I think their third goal was kicked in, which the officials missed but sometimes as the away team, those calls go against you.” 

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