Hobs Moat heartbreak to inspire Bell next season

Tigers NIHL netminder Denis Bell will use last season’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 tournament’s showpiece final in April.

Bell was in sparkling form at Hobs Moat Road, as The Tigers threatened to wreck Solihull’s record two-year winning streak in all competitions.

But despite being named MVP at Telford’s awards evening just weeks later, the youngster is still haunted by that last-gasp defeat.

He said: “It 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.

“Next 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.

“With 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.”

The Tigers NIHL squad is likely to boast a familiar look next year, as club bosses aim 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: “It will be a different team to least year, so we’ll have to get the chemistry back that we had. It was a great atmosphere in the dressing room.

“The guys that are coming in will be part of that and they’ll help this team go further in the long run.”

Tigers NIHL General Manager, Mike Washburn, expects his side to continue displaying that remarkable team spirit.

He said: “Good points made by Denis – the key one being that last season we won and lost as a team.

“That 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.”

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