Tigers defence sparks win over Flames
Tom Watkins hailed a brave performance from his Tigers defence after they overcame the loss of two key players to beat Guilford Flames 4-1 at Telford Ice Rink.
Martin Ondrej and Sam Zajac both left proceedings early with injuries on Sunday night, givingÂ the reigning champions just four recognised senior defenceman.
But the combination of Jonathan Weaver, Dan Scott, Danny Rose and Marcus Maynard restricted Guildford to just 24 shots, as opposed to a remarkable 46 from Telford.
The Tigers head coachÂ said: â€œI thought it was a good all-round performance tonight and the forwards got it done offensively, but our defence was outstanding.
â€œWe lost Sammy and Martin early in the game, so we played for most of it with just four defencemen.
â€œThey battled hard, blocked shots, moved the puck up well and behind them, Sam Gospel did what heâ€™s been doing for aÂ while now.
â€œWe lost a game last week because we didnâ€™t block shots, so today Jonathan WeaverÂ blocked a bunch, as did the others and we need guys doing that all day long.
â€œIt takes away good scoring and simple ways of getting the puck to the net. You consistently sap the other sideâ€™s belief when youâ€™re making it hard for them to get pucks through.â€
Guildford took the lead early onÂ in Sunday’s encounter, with a goal from Marcus Kristofferson after just five minutes of the first period.
Telford, however, made their dominance pay later in the session, scoring twice through Jason Silverthorn and Max Birbraer.
The hosts double their advantage after the break, thanks to a well-worked goal from defenceman Dan Scott.
Those first two periods saw Telford deliver a total of 37 shots on Guildfordâ€™s goal, in contrast to just 13 from the Flames.
And it was Silverthorn who sealed victory on 51 minutes, giving The Tigers their sixth win in seven games.
Watkins added: â€œTo be honest, I thought we should have killed the game by the end of the first period. We missed a lot of good chances, and through the second as well.
â€œI said to the guys that I thought the game should have been dead, but it wasnâ€™t. I was pleased with the way we played in the third and we didnâ€™t give anything up.
â€œWe then got our reward with the late powerplay goal.â€
Telford Tigers are back in action next weekend, when they travel to face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday, before Sundayâ€™s visit of Hull Pirates (6pm). For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.