Tigers fail to claw back goals against Wildcats

Tom Watkins will demand improvements in the final third of the ice, after The Tigers missed a host of chances in Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Swindon Wildcats.

The county men went two goals behind early on in the opening home game of their EPL title defence, following Saturday night’s win over Sheffield Steeldogs.

But a spirited fightback saw Telford regain the initiative in the middle session, before falling behind to two dramatic late goals from the Wiltshire men.

Watkins, who pulled netminder Thomas Murdy in a bid to secure a late equaliser, bemoaned the lack of finishing during a breathless third period.

He said: “Tonight was disappointing, because we didn’t take the initiative and get the next goal to go 3-2 up.

“Ultimately, good ice hockey has to have an end product. It needs something that gets the fans out of their seats.

“We had a good second period, but in the end it was disappointing to lose the game.”

Visitors Swindon were first off the mark, as they took a 2-0 lead before the end of the first period.

But the Tigers regained the initiative in the second session, hitting back through goals from Peter Szabo and Phil Hill.

Telford looked the most likely side to score after the second break, with Swindon forced into some desperate measures in defence.

The Wildcats, however, broke Telford hearts with a scrambled goal just minutes from the final buzzer.

And they snatched a fourth on the stroke of full time, as Telford pulled netminder Thomas Murdy in the search for an equaliser.

Watkins added: “It was hard tonight, because we didn’t really get out of the blocks in the first period, which meant we didn’t get into the game.

“I was really pleased with our response later in the game. We worked hard and generated some good chances, but they come back to bite you, if you don’t capitalise.”

On Saturday night, meanwhile, The Tigers fell behind to an early goal from Sheffield’s Lubomir Korhon, before strikes from Martin Ondrej, Phil Hill and Joe Miller gave them a 3-1 cushion on 23 minutes.

Nathan Salem and Miller handed Telford a 5-1 lead at the 42nd minute mark, before a mini fightback from the Steeldogs.

Tom Squires, Stanislav Lascek and Arnoldas Bosas threatened to derail Telford’s game plan, before Miller put the result beyond doubt with his hat-trick goal.

The Tigers are back in action next weekend, when they travel to Hull Pirates on Saturday, before the visit of Basingstoke Bison on Sunday (6pm).

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