Turnovers Cost Tigers Again. Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Peterborough for a National League contest. Peterborough had won the National Cup Final on Friday evening with a hard fought victory over League Champions Leeds Knights. Tigers had lost the previous evening to Raiders in overtime but had secured a place in the end of season playoffs. Tigers had three league games remaining and could only finish as high as seventh place. Basingstoke were a point ahead of Tigers but faced Leeds away the same evening.
Peterborough were short benched and with regular net minder Jordan Marr absent, young prospect Tyler De La Bertouche started in goal
Tigers started well and opened the scoring in the third minute. Rory Herrman’s shot hit a Peterborough defender and deflected into the path of Fin Howells who shot the puck into the top left hand corner of the goal to give Tigers the lead. Three minutes later the visitors doubled the lead. Vladimir Luka hit a superb wrist shot in off the bar.
But despite the great start Tigers were pegged back immediately. A poor defensive turnover led to Lukas Sladkovsky having a free shot at goal which gave Brad Day no chance and halved the deficit. The rest of the period saw the home team in the ascendancy but no further scoring
At the start of the second period, Tigers gifted an equaliser to Peterborough. Telford won the face off and the puck was passed to Jack Watkins on the blue line. His attempted pass to Rhodes Mitchell-King went straight to Sladkovsky who skated in on goal unopposed and shot past Day to draw the sides level.
As has happened many times this season, Tigers had a poor second period and were behind for the first time midway through the game. A Tom Norton shot from the top of the right circle flew past the unsighted Day. Tigers had back to back power plays after conceding but could not get their power play unit going and barely threatened the Phantoms’ goal.
The third period saw Peterborough go further ahead with more poor defending to blame. A pass across the circles in the Tigers’ defensive zone went straight to Sladkovsky and saw the unmarked Phantoms’ forward score with a cool finish past Day to seal his hat trick.
Peterborough then scored again to take the game away from Telford. Ralph Circenis tapped home into an open net after a mishit shot bounced his way.
But,Telford showed some fight to try and get back into the game. Scott McKenzie set up Luka for his second of the game with a stunning shot into the top corner of the net. Then, Herrman sent Jake Price clear on goal and the Tigers’ defender scored with a perfect wrist shot.
With five minutes left Telford were within a goal of the hosts but despite pulling Day from the goal to add an extra attacker for the final minute. Peterborough held out and a disappointing weekend saw Tigers lose both games and remain in eighth place, a point behind Basingstoke.
Final Score: Peterborough Phantoms 5 Hexagon Telford Tigers 4.
Scorers: Fin Howells, Vladimir Luka (2) and Jake Price.
Man of the match: Vladimir Luka.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “If you make mistakes you get punished seems to be the general theme for us at the moment. After turning the pucks over in some bad spots an awful second period cost us the game. Doing the simple things, the little things at a high standard is all I’m looking for on a consistent basis, but we continue to give points away through poor puck management.”
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