Silv’s call to fans ahead of Lightning clash

Captain Jason Silverthorn has challenged the Tigers fans to play their part in this weekend’s play-off quarter-final encounter with Milton Keynes Lightning.

A capacity crowd is expected at Telford Ice Rink on Sunday evening, with the Tigers having home advantage in the second leg of the two-game series.

The two teams, who first meet at the Thunderdome in Milton Keynes on Saturday, will be playing for a place in the finals weekend at Coventry – Telford’s final chance of silverware this season.

And Silverthorn wants to make the most of hosting the second quarter-final tie in Shropshire.

He said: “The fans are going to be massively important this weekend. That’s why you play all season, to get home ice advantage on the Sunday night. It’s just the way ice hockey works.

“You get that extra boost on home ice, and energy, that forces the other team to come into a hostile environment. It is going to be an exciting weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Having a loud, energetic building during the play-offs is something the whole team can feed off. It’s a different season and a whole new level for everyone, on and off the ice.

The encouragement has to be there throughout and we need people to be loud, and behind the team all the way. Everyone has a clean slate in the play-offs.”

Telford will go into the series with a numerical advantage over Milton Keynes, after beating them five times out of six during the course of the season.

But Silverthorn dismissed talk of that record giving them a head-start this weekend.

He added: “All the results from the league season go out of the window for these games. Now that the play-offs are here, both teams start from zero again.

“You still have to go onto it thinking about one game at a time, but you really can’t take anything for granted. There’s no point in thinking about our past record against them.

“It is a case of winning each shift, then each period, and if you win the game, you look forward to the next one.”

The 36-year-old made a return from injury in last weekend’s games against Bracknell Bees and Swindon Wildcats, scoring once and collecting two assists.

“It was nice to get back into playing and Bracknell on Saturday was a good physical test,” Silverthorn said.

“They came at us very hard and on Sunday, Swindon were fast and played with a lot of skill, so I felt good. I’ll be building towards the weekend, with a good week of training, and get ready to go.”

Saturday night’s away game against Milton Keynes Lightning starts at 7pm. On Sunday, the two teams face-off at 6pm, at Telford Ice Rink.

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