Tigers open pre-season account with 4-2 win
Telford Tigers laid down an early marker with a 4-2 win over Milton Keynes Lightning in their first pre season friendly on Saturday night.
A rebuilt Tigers side, featuring four new imports and a string of home-grown additions, held the upper hand during the opening exchanges.
And with a week of twice-daily training sessions under their belts, Telford survived a number of Lightning powerplays as their superior fitness began to tell.
Tigers head coach, Tom Watkins, believes his side benefitted from a tough early workout at the Thunderdome.
He said: “It’s been a hard week for the guys, but I definitely think we got better as the game went on. We were a bit slow and sluggish to start, but we’ve been on the ice twice a day for the last five days.
“Our preparation has been good, but obviously that’s tiring for the guys. As the game progressed, though, we definitely improved as a side.
“It will be a different game tomorrow, with both teams coming into a different rink and different place to play, so we’re all looking forward to that.”
Telford opened the scoring after just over a minute on Saturday night, when Doug Clarkson announced his arrival with a strike into the top corner of the Milton Keynes goal.
The hosts hit back seven minutes later, before Telford defeated a five-on-three powerplay for the Lightning.
Milton Keynes took the lead with a scrambled goal early in the second period, however, although Milan Kolena soon pulled Telford level with a unstoppable shot past netminder Przemyslaw Odrbny.
A fine backhanded goal from Tigers captain Jason Silverthorn handed his side the advantage on 37 minutes, while Adam Taylor rounded off the scoring in the final session.
Watkins added: “It was a great shot from Milan for the second goal, and we’ve seen that all week from him in training. He’s got to add a few bits to his game, but he’ll fit in well on that line with Doug and Matty.
“Our penalty kill was good and Sam was good in goal, but it’s a time of year when teams haven’t had a lot of time to practice their special teams. We tried a lot of different things on the penalty kill and that will grow as we get more time together.”
Telford Tigers return to action tomorrow night (Sunday) when they host Milton Keynes Lighting in the return fixture at Telford Ice Rink.
For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.