Tigers seal win with late penalty drama
“Good teams find a way and we found a way tonight” – that was the assessment of Tigers coach Tom Watkins, following his side’s dramatic 3-2 win over Guildford Flames.
Victory at Telford Ice Rink came after a gripping 60 minutes ended with the scores tied at 2-2, before overtime and penalty shots finally handed the Tigers an extra point.
Wednesday night’s result means the Shropshire men retain their three-point lead at the top of the English Premier League, with second-placed Milton Keynes having also won.
Watkins was delighted to see his side start a tough run of matches – including three successive away encounters – with a hard-fought win.
He said: “I really liked the way we played this evening with a lot of grit and good physicality at times. We won our battles along the walls and did the simple things well.
“Tonight is the start of a tough slog for us, but good teams find a way and we found a way tonight. We’ve got to make sure we keep this train rolling coming into the weekend and then after that.”
The first period saw Telford have the better of the early play, but they still ended the session 2-0 down, thanks to Guildford goals on ten and twelve minutes.
Watkins added: “I think we started the game well in the first five minutes, but it was just a couple of errors and they managed to get on top with some half chances.”
The second period, however, saw Telford regain level pegging, with two well-worked goals from Doug Clarkson – on 22 and 24 minutes – as they took advantage of a string of Guildford penalties.
Neither side troubled the scorers in the final period, leading to a dramatic session of overtime, with Guildford missing a penalty shot.
And that saw both sides take part in a penalty shootout, with Matty Davies scoring the winning penalty for Telford.
“Three on three overtime an emotional rollercoaster, but the fans love it,” Watkins said.
“The noise in here tonight, when Matty went through on his first breakaway, was something I haven’t heard in this building for a long time.
“It was a really good attendance from our fans, especially in midweek, and it was great to see so many people supporting the boys. They deserve it.”
The Tigers are back in action this weekend, when they travel to Hull on Saturday, before a trip to Guildford the next day. The following weekend, they travel to Milton Keynes on Saturday, before a return encounter against the Lightning in Telford on November 6th.