Tigers man Gospel targets points

Tigers netminder Sam Gospel has rejected talk of the English Premier League title, ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Peterborough Phantoms.

Sam Gospel in action for Telford Tigers. Photo: Steve Brodie
Sam Gospel in action for Telford Tigers. Photo: Steve Brodie

Telford need four wins from their final seven games to secure top spot, with second-placed Milton Keynes still eight points adrift.

The Lightning are, however, due in Shropshire for their final league game on March 19th and still have a game in hand over the Tigers.

And when asked about Telford’s chances of lifting a second title in three years, Gospel insisted he is concentrating on the two points up for grabs on Sunday.

“We are definitely just taking it game by game at the moment,” he said.

“It is a case of winning each period one at a time. If we do that, then we will be fine.

“This is where we need to be playing our best hockey, at this time of the season. We’ve started the last few games well, which is so important in shutting the other team down.

“Peterborough are a very good trapping team and can catch you on the break, so we need to be aware of that.

“They have got some good shooters who can put the puck in the net. It will be a tough game on Sunday.”

Gospel has matured into one of the EPL’s top young goaltenders this season, posting an impressive save percentage of over 90 per cent.

The 22-year-old shares netminding duties with Jon Baston, who arrived in Telford last month after winning the EPL title with Basingstoke Bison last season.

He added: “It has been great to push myself this year, first with Ondrej at the start and now Jon. Having that competitive edge in training and games is really useful.

“It takes the pressure off, if one of us is having a bad game, knowing that the other guy is ready. It’s whoever is on a roll at the minute who plays.”

Telford’s run of eight successive wins has co-incided with the return from injury of GB international Jonathan Weaver, who is again proving influential in defence.

“Having Jon at the back has been very important for us,” Gospel said

“He blocks a lot of shots and can settle the play down by communicating so well. He is a calming presence for the boys.”

Sunday’s visit of Peterborough Phantoms to Telford Ice Rink is the Tigers’ only game of the weekend. Face-off is 6pm.