Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Hull on Saturday evening to take on the bottom of the table Seahawks.
Tigers were hoping to end their recent run of poor form and with the Shropshire team having lost their previous five games, they were delighted that Scott McKenzie’s match penalty (against Sheffield in the previous game) had been downgraded allowing the Scottish forward to be available for the game.
However, Tigers were short benched with Jonathan Weaver unavailable, Sam Watkins and Mitchell Rhodes-King away with Great Britain U20s. Lucas Price missed out through injury meaning Liam Bartholomew and Louis Molyneux stepped up from the Laidler Division team.
A feature of Tigers’ recent poor form has been having to chase the game after going behind early on. Once again it was the opposition who scored first. With Bartholomew in the penalty box for boarding, the hosts took the lead with Declan Balmer scoring for Hull. Tigers hit back with a power play goal of their own. Corey Goodison scoring from distance with a powerful slap shot. The first period ended even but Hull had considerably more shots on Brad Day’s goal.
Hull regained the lead early in the second period with import forward Andre Themar scoring after beating Day with a low shot. Midway through the game Brodie Jesson was given a five minute penalty for boarding. Despite the lengthy numerical advantage, the Telford penalty kill unit worked well to prevent Hull from scoring.
At the start of the third period Tigers conceded after just eleven seconds, Themar adding his second goal of the game to put Hull 3-1 ahead. Telford hit back with a goal from Scott McKenzie but Hull seemingly killed off the game with two goals in seventeen seconds.
With Nathan Salam in the penalty box for Hull, Sam Towner scored a short handed goal and was closely followed by a goal from Salam, just after his penalty expired. With just five minutes left, Tigers found themselves three goals behind and a mountain to climb.
A comeback was sparked when a deflected shot from Jason Silverthorn beat Jordan McLaughlin in the Hull goal for Telford’s third goal. Tigers pressed to get another goal but time was running out. With a minute of the game left, Hull’s Thomas Stubley was serving a tripping penalty and Day was pulled from the Telford goal to add an extra attacker, giving Tigers a two man advantage. This paid off immediately when McKenzie set up Vladimir Luka who blasted an unstoppable slap shot past McLaughlin to narrow the deficit to just one goal.
Tigers restarted play and then pulled Day from the goal again once they had gained possession of the puck. Goodison worked the puck in front of goal where Fin Howells hit a superb wrist shot into the net to draw the sides level with just twenty two seconds of regulation time left.
With the teams level, overtime followed. Early into the extra period Hull were awarded a penalty shot. Themar stepped up and finished brilliantly past Day to win the game and send Tigers to a sixth defeat in a row. Tigers gain a point in the league standings but will be disappointed their comeback did not result in a win.
Final Score: Hull Seahawks 6 Hexagon Telford Tigers 5 (after overtime).
Scorers: Corey Goodison, Scott McKenzie, Jason Silverthorn, Vladimir Luka and Fin Howells.
Man of the match: Scott McKenzie.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “Right now we have a group who are low on confidence and key players are making uncharacteristic mistakes at key moments. We couldn’t have had a worse start to the third period than conceding a goal then taking a penalty on the next shift and before you know it, we are three goals behind. We are too reliant on a few players to create and score and when we are conceding goals like we are at the moment, it’s too big a gap to close. We showed some huge character to come back from three goals down in the last five minutes to tie the game. That is something positive we can take into our next game.”