Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Peterborough for the first of back-to-back challenge games with the Phantoms over the weekend. With the league campaign starting next weekend, this represented the first chance to see the new National League roster this season.
The team were missing a number of players ahead of the season starting and the line up saw Jonathan Weaver, Joe Aston, Nick Oliver and Brady Heppner absent. New signing Matty Bloor started the game ahead of usual starting net minder Brad Day.
Peterborough had started their pre-season action a week earlier than Telford and this was clear to see in the opening period. Just four minutes into the game, Ales Padelek took advantage of some sloppy defending to fire the hosts into the lead. This was the only goal of the opening period as Telford took time to get going in the game.
Just thirty five seconds after the second period had started, Peterborough added a second goal. Padelek was again the scorer with a fine shot over Bloor’s shoulder.
Tigers hit back four minutes later when last season’s top scorer Vladimir Luka hammered a shot past Jordan Marr to halve the deficit.
Midway through the game Phantoms restored their two goal lead. Luke Ferrara scoring a power play goal after Tigers’ Harry Ferguson was given a rather harsh boarding penalty.
Phantoms had a fourth goal as the game moved into the later stages of the second period. Scott Robson scored a short handed goal with Tigers’ defence getting caught out whilst in the Phantoms’ defensive zone allowing Martins Susters and Robson to break away and score.
Early in the their period, Peterborough scored two quick fire goals – both from Susters to take the game firmly away from the visitors.
Marr was replaced in goal by prospect Tyler De La Bertouche for the last ten minutes of the game and he was beaten by a consolation goal for Telford. Luka scoring his second of the night with a superb toe drag and rocket of shot giving the young net minder no chance of saving it.
Peterborough hit back straight away with an equally unstoppable shot from Lukas Sladkovsky for their seventh goal.
The final say on the scoresheet on a disappointing night for the visitors was from the home team, with Ferrara scoring his second of the game with a wrist shot from the left circle.
Final Score: Peterborough Phantoms 8 Hexagon Telford Tigers 2.
Scorers: Vladimir Luka (2).
Man of the match: Rhodes Mitchell-King.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins commented, “ I thought we had a decent start despite this being our first outing as a team, and at the end of the second period it could have been 3-3 if we had taken some very good chances but the reality was that after not converting those chances, we were 4-1 down.
I thought a lot of the offence that Phantoms got and led directly to goals were from sloppy mistakes by ourselves, whether they were simple turnovers of the puck or missed assignments.
However, it is very early days, we have plenty to work on and I’m sure we will learn plenty from this game.”