Tigers snatch win over tough Phoenix side

Telford Tigers took the lead in the English Premier League with a hard-fought 4-2 win over Manchester Phoenix at Telford Ice Rink on Saturday night.

Results elsewhere mean the Tigers now lead the early EPL standings by a single point from Milton Keynes Lightning.

But Tom Watkins’ men didn’t have it all their own way against the Phoenix, and had to wait unit the later stages of the game to establish a comfortable lead.

Watkins said: “We got ourselves a couple of goals up early in the game, but then gave two away with errors, which was frustrating.

“Our powerplay was frustrating all night and we only had three good shots from two opportunities.

“We have to take advantage of that sort of thing, and it’s probably why Manchester stayed in the game as long as they did.”

Telford did, in fact, take the lead after just eight minutes on Saturday night, thanks to well-worked goal from Matty Davies.

They doubled that advantage four minutes later through Michal Satek, but Manchester ended the period all-square after strikes from Bebris and Malinik.

But a packed Telford Ice Rink – the upper section of the balcony was sold out – saw no goals in the second session, with neither side threatening to score.

And it was Satek and Doug Clarkson who wrapped up the points with goals in the closing period, as the Tigers maintained their 100 per cent home record.

Watkins added: “I thought we dominated much of the second period, but we didn’t get enough pucks to the net, or bear down on chances.

“I would say we took the momentum out of them in the second period and carried that on into the third period.

“All credit to Manchester. They made it hard for us and battled well with just 11 guys, but our depth and talent level, as well as our fitness, gave us those chances.”

Telford Tigers return to action on Sunday evening, when they make the trip to face Peterborough Phantoms (5.30pm).

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