Hobs Moat heartbreak to inspire Bell next season
Tigers NIHL netminder Denis Bell will use last seasonâ€™s play-off heartbreak as inspiration in the Moralee Conference next season.
The 17-year-old was part of the Telford squad that lost 4-3 to Solihull Barons in the dying moments of the tournamentâ€™s showpiece final in April.
Bell was in sparkling form at Hobs Moat Road, as The Tigers threatened to wreck Solihullâ€™s record two-year winning streak in all competitions.
But despite being named MVP at Telfordâ€™s awards evening just weeks later, the youngster is still haunted by that last-gasp defeat.
He said: â€œIt was very disappointing, the way that game ended and it took a long time to get over it. But in another way, we need to carry on from where we were in that match.
â€œNext season will be tough, so we need to play like we did against Solihull. We shut them down and got our systems right on the day.
â€œWith the team that Solihull had, they should have been in the Moralee Conference last season. So for us to come away with just a one-goal defeat shows what we are capable of.â€
The Tigers NIHL squad is likely to boast a familiar look next year, as club bosses aimÂ to make the most of promotion from the Laidler Conference.
There will, inevitably, be a number of additions from elsewhere, but Bell is confident the team can retain its dressing room unity from last season.
He added: â€œIt will be a different team to least year, so weâ€™ll have to get the chemistry back that we had. It was a great atmosphere in the dressing room.
â€œThe guys that are coming in will be part of that and theyâ€™ll help this team go further in the long run.â€
Tigers NIHL General Manager, Mike Washburn, expects his side to continue displaying that remarkable team spirit.
He said: â€œGood points made by Denis – the key one being that last season we won and lost as a team.
â€œThat is exactly the starting point for this year, sure there are some new faces but it’s business as usual in our pre season preparation.â€