Tigers back to winning ways with crucial victory

Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Swindon on Saturday night for a top of the table clash with second placed Swindon Wildcats. 

Jason Silverthorn heads to the bench after scoring for the Tigers. Photo: Steve Brodie
Jason Silverthorn heads to the bench after scoring for the Tigers. Photo: Steve Brodie

Tigers had seen their lead at the top of the table cut to two points after a run of five consecutive defeats. Tigers were dealt a further blow on the day of the game when it was confirmed that defender Thomas McKinnon had received a nine game suspension after being ejected from the previous game for a check from behind. The suspension leaves Tigers with only five available defenseman until the later stages of the league season.  Tigers were already missing the suspended Andy McKinney and the injured trio of Jonathan Weaver, Dan Mitchell and James Smith. Although, there was some good news for Tigers as they were able to ice Scott McKenzie and Brandon Whistle who returned from injury in the defeat to Bracknell the previous weekend and both were deemed fit enough to start the game. 

Tigers started with Brad Day in goal, Renny Marr started for Swindon.

Tigers needed a strong start to the game and they couldn’t have asked for a better start than scoring after thirteen seconds! Jack Watkins broke in on goal and was hooked by Swindon’s Stephen Whitfield as he was about to shoot. Referee Rose awarded a penalty shot to Tigers.

Watkins skated in on goal, dummied the shot and slid the puck past Marr to open the scoring and give Tigers a dream start.  The game was played at break-neck speed with both teams realising the importance of the destination of the two points.

Swindon hit back in the seventh minute and equalised. Tomasz Malasinski sent a perfect cross ice pass to Swindon player coach Aaron Nell who smashed the puck past Day to draw the sides level. Tigers’ performance belied their recent poor results with Brandon Whistle setting up Scott McKenzie but Marr made a terrific save. Fin Howells then went close with a shot that Marr could only partially save but Swindon’s defence reacted quickest to clear the rebound. 

Tigers regained the lead in the fifteenth minute. Ollie Lord found the onrushing Jason Silverthorn in the slot. The Tigers’ captain skated onto the pass perfectly and sent a wrist shot that went through Marr and into the net. Tigers ended the period giving away two penalties in the dying seconds. Nick Oliver was called for holding and six seconds after the restart, Silverthorn was also called for holding the stick, much to the disgust of coach Tom Watkins. The result of the penalties would be that Swindon would start the second period with almost two minutes of 5-on-3 power play time.  As Watkins left the ice he remonstrated with the officials but they refused to explain the award of the penalties and waved the Tigers’ coach away.

Tigers worked magnificently on the penalty kill at the start of the second period. McKenzie showed the spirit of the team by blocking a shot and then clearing the puck down the ice. Day then made a great save from a Nell shot and blocked the rebound. Tigers gained momentum from the penalty kill and scored almost immediately after returning to full strength. Adam Taylor and Joe Aston combined to find the unmarked Whistle who buried a precise wrist shot past Marr to extend the Tigers’ lead.  Swindon were trying to turn the game into a physical contest and negate the Tigers’ slick passing. Neil Liddiard did his best to provoke the Tigers’ players after crashing into McKenzie and holding him down on the ice, somehow McKenzie ended up with a penalty despite doing nothing wrong. Liddiard then skated up to the Tigers’ bench and appeared to be trying to goad them into a fight but he was ignored, the officials were unimpressed with his actions and gave him a 10 minute misconduct penalty. Swindon continued to press with Chris Jones shooting over the goal for Swindon and Edgars Bebris then drew a stunning double save from Day.

Swindon had another power play after Ross Kennedy was awarded a hooking penalty. Again, the penalty kill unit came up strong with Danny Rose being unable to change due to Swindon’s constant possession. The Tigers’ defenseman somehow managed to remain on the ice for the full length of the penalty and crucially won the puck and cleared it to prevent Jones getting in on goal. Day was at his athletic best when Swindon forced a goalmouth scramble, Day saved the puck and was joined in the goal crease by Corey Goodison who threw himself in front of the goal and blocked the puck, allowing Whistle to clear.

The period ended with Tigers getting a power play after a late hit from Max Birbraer was called for charging. Birbraer hit Florian late at speed and was lucky to only receive a two minute penalty. Tigers would start the third period with just over a minute of power play time.

On the power play, Tigers could not score and barely registered a shot on goal. Swindon fought back and cut the Tigers’ lead in half. A long range shot from Whitfield beat Day who was screened by a Swindon attacker. The goal gave the Swindon fans encouragement and their team pushed forward for an equaliser but Tigers managed the puck well and were always dangerous on the break. As the game entered the final minute, Swindon pulled Marr from the net for an extra attacker and laid siege to the Tigers’ goal, but Day and the Tigers’ defence stood firm and saw out the game to win a hard fought victory and delight the sizeable following of fans from Shropshire behind Day’s goal.

Tigers’ win breaks the run of consecutive losses and increases the lead at the top of the table to 4 points.

Final Score: Swindon Wildcats 2 Hexagon Telford Tigers 3.

Scorers: Jack Watkins, Jason Silverthorn and Brandon Whistle.

Man of the match: Brad Day.

After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “What a great result and a great way to snap our losing streak against our nearest rivals. We had five players out of the line up already and then get the news Tom McKinnon is suspended for nine games a couple of hours before the face off in Swindon.

“The team really dug deep tonight in the face of some adversity and showed the team spirit we have in this group. I think we rode our luck at times but Brad (Day) was solid all night, the boys boxed out Swindon and did a good job of taking away the chance of rebounds. We needed to play a disciplined road game and we did that very well this evening. I think the 5-on-3 and penalty kill in general was the catalyst for the win this evening. Swindon are a quality hockey club with a lot of talent, we’re happy tonight but must do the job again in our next game against Hull.“

Supporting Shropshire Live...
Shropshire Live
Shropshire Live has been providing Shropshire with independent news and entertainment since 2009. Send us your news to interact@shropshirelive.com or call 01743 818 095. For advertising information call Fiona on 01743 816 817.
- Advertising -

Featured Article

Quest Guardians

Quest Guardians – the Family company encouraging you to join their Family

Quest Guardians are currently looking for families in the Shropshire area to host international students.
Mrs Dean Harris, High Sheriff of Shropshire

New High Sheriff of Shropshire enters role committed to supporting Covid-19 efforts

The incoming High Sheriff of Shropshire has officially made her declaration today — in a very different setting to many who have preceded her due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
An image of how a section of the North West Relief Road will look. Image: Shropshire Council

Shrewsbury North West Relief Road consultation deadline extended

Shropshire Council has extended the deadline for responses to the current consultation on the proposed Shrewsbury North West Relief Road.
Anna sewing bags for NHS

Telford College tutors take up ‘Sew for the NHS’ challenge

A group of Telford College tutors have taken up the challenge to ‘Sew for the NHS’.
Students on Crossbar’s Future Skills Programme enjoying a practical session at Lilleshall National Sports Centre

Applications invited for Crossbar’s popular Future Skills Programme at Lilleshall National Sports Centre

Shropshire school leavers keen to pursue a career in sport and leisure are invited to apply for a popular education programme.
Pictured at their base at Oldbury Wells School are, back - J Baker, Evie Dennis, Ellie Yeomans, Daisy Watkins, Lucy Edwards, and front - Thanh Dang and Anna Bradford. Also successful but not pictured due to temporary closure of the club - Becky Peters, Jessie Childs, Sally Compson-Lea, Jessica Compson-Lea, Harry Lea, Lewis Crook, Tom Hardwidge

Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do students secure colour belt grading promotion

Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do students managed to secure a promotion in their colour belt grades before the club shut its doors temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tennis Shropshire chair Simon Jones, centre, with, left, over-35s runner-up Dean Thomas and, right, champion Dean King

Tennis champions crowned at Shropshire Senior Singles Championship

Dean King, Dave Parry and John Alexander enjoyed that winning feeling as they were crowned champions at Tennis Shropshire's Senior Singles Championship.
- Advertising -
Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn

Marches LEP launches major business survey to measure coronavirus impact

One of the biggest-ever surveys of businesses across the Marches was launched today to measure the full scale of the economic impact of coronavirus on the region.
Besblock Managing Director Andrew Huxley (left) and Richard Potts from Greenhous

Shropshire businesses work together during the Coronavirus crisis

Two Shropshire businesses have worked together during a national crisis for a second time, as Besblock and Greenhous rekindle the spirit of the Second World War.
Manufacturing at Filtermist

Filtermist opens doors to local businesses in need of support

Telford-based firm Filtermist is opening its doors to fellow manufacturers in an effort to help keep core industry moving during this challenging time.
Sky Champs education programme is for youngsters aged four to 11 (Key Stages 1 and 2)

Virtual learning with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Sky Champs

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is giving parents across the region free access to its National Curriculum-based education activities.
Caption: FSC and Encounter Edu team up to provide live fieldwork lessons

Outdoor education charity launches live fieldwork lessons

A Shropshire-based outdoor education charity is supporting teachers to continue to help parents with children stuck at home amid the Covid-19 crisis by launching online fieldwork sessions in geography and science.
From left, Oswestry shop manager Debbie Woods, Winifred Lloyd, head of retail Ross Henderson, Jean Murray and director of care Becky Richardson

Shop volunteers celebrate 195 years’ service

Two friends who have jointly clocked up 50 years at a Shropshire community shop have been honoured for their commitment.
- Advertising -
Sam and Lucy Knight with their decorated eggs

Shropshire-based charity launches decorate an egg competition

Children stuck at home during the coronavirus lockdown are being given the chance to decorate an egg for Easter to help a Shropshire-based charity.
Former British Superbike Champion, Neil Hodgson with Midland Air Ambulance critical care paramedics

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Bike4Life Ride Out goes virtual

Following the postponement of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, the charity is taking the event virtual until a new date can be scheduled.

Organisers of Newport Show postpone this year’s event

The annual Newport Show which was due to be held in July has been postponed until next year.
Students James Eadie and Max Dando with Head Chef Gavin Allen.

Student Chefs visit The Old Vicarage at Worfield to create tasting menu

Student Chefs from Shrewsbury Colleges Group took over the brasserie at The Old Vicarage at Worfield, near Bridgnorth.
Janet and Russell Cooke, Owners of Kerry Vale Vineyard

Shropshire Vineyard under new ownership

After more than 10 years of award-winning wine production, Kerry Vale Vineyard has new owners after being sold by the Ferguson family.
James Sherwin owner of Wild Shropshire

Wild Shropshire relocates to new restaurant in Whitchurch

Wild Shropshire has re-located to open up a brand new restaurant in Green End, Whitchurch.
- Advertisment -

Weather

Shropshire
scattered clouds
13.6 ° C
15.6 °
11.7 °
54 %
8.2kmh
40 %
Mon
13 °
Tue
14 °
Wed
17 °
Thu
15 °
Fri
12 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Featured Article

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -