Hexagon Telford Tigers travelled to Peterborough to take on the title chasing Phantoms. With Telford having broken their awful run of home defeats in their previous game, there was a huge belief around the club that the corner had finally been turned.
Peterborough along with Leeds and Milton Keynes, were chasing glory at the top of the table, whilst Telford were desperately trying to hold on to the final play off place.
Corey Goodison was added to the list of Tigers’ absentees for the game with Jonathan Weaver also unavailable. But Ricky Plant made a welcome return to the line up.
Tigers made a bright start to the game and their good play was rewarded with the opening goal of the game in the seventh minute. Henry Adams passed to an open Rory Herrman who cut in from the right hand side and smashed the puck past Jordan Marr in the Peterborough goal.
The lead only lasted three minutes as Joe Gretton equalised for Phantoms after benefiting from some luck when a shot that was heading wide of the goal deflected into his path.
Late in the period Peterborough took the lead, Ales Padelek netting for the home side, with an even more fortuitous bounce going their way. A long range shot which was heading well wide of the goal hit one of the officials and bounced perfectly for Padelek to score, giving the Phantoms a narrow lead at the end of the first period.
Tigers started the second period well and threatened Marr’s goal numerous times. Ralfs Circenis was awarded a slashing penalty giving Telford a power play. Tigers took advantage of the extra man when Danny Rose’s shot from the blue line was tipped by Scott McKenzie into the path of Herrman in space, allowing the in form Herrman to shoot low past Marr to draw the sides level.
The game saw end to end attacking and the Phantoms thought they had scored when a shot through a crowd was well saved by Brad Day with the home teams’ fans calling for a goal the officials said the puck had not crossed the line and played on.
Telford gained their second lead of the night, late in the second period. Vladimir Luka found Fin Howells in space allowing Howells to beat Marr with a terrific wrist shot after sending Marr the wrong way.
Peterborough came out for the third period pushing hard for an equaliser and were given a power play chance six minutes into the period when Howells was called for tripping. Padelek scored his second of the night within thirty seconds of the power play starting. Day in the Tigers’ goal complained to the officials that there had been a Phantom’s players in the crease but they ignored his protestations and awarded the goal.
Telford hit back with a fourth goal, nine minutes from the end of the game, with Herrman completing his hat trick with an excellent finish after skating through the Phantoms’ defence and hitting a shot that went through Marr.
With Peterborough in need of the points to maintain their title challenge, they continued to press for the equaliser and Telford were indebted to Day on a number of occasions for keeping the Shropshire side ahead.
Peterborough pulled Marr from goal for the final minute of the game to add an extra attacker and went close with a shot that rang off the post.
Herrman sealed the contest in the dying seconds with a shot into the empty net for his fourth goal of the game.
Tigers win back to back games and narrow the gap on seventh placed Basingstoke to just two points.
Final Score: Peterborough Phantoms 3 Hexagon Telford Tigers 5.
Scorers: Rory Herrman (4) and Fin Howells.
Man of the match: Rory Herrman.
After the game Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented, “That was our best team performance of the season, no question. You have to compete hard in this rink to be successful and every player did that tonight. It’s all about winning your one on one battles, your races, being strong along the walls and committing to getting pucks out of our zone and getting pucks in theirs.
“It took a huge collective effort, every player buying in to what we need for the benefit of the group. We need that every night for the rest of the season.”