Watkins’ “killer” call after late win
Tom Watkins wants his Telford Tigers side to develop a “killer instinct” after they took top spot in the English Premier League with a dramatic 2-1 win over Swindon Wildcats.
Sunday’s win at Telford Ice Rink – claimed after an overtime goal – means the county men lead the standings by a single point, after Milton Keynes lost 5-1 to third-placed Hull.
That result followed an equally hard-fought encounter on Saturday night, when Telford lost 4-3 away to the Lightning – again in overtime.
And with the Tigers having played the extra five-minute period four times so far this season, Watkins called for his men to deliver an earlier finish to games.
He said: “We did a lot of good things tonight, but it would be nice to take teams out of the game and build a bit of a cushion, which we have to learn to do, and have that killer instinct.
“You’re never out of reach with guys like Hoog, Nell and Malasinski on the ice, and they showed it with that six on five right at the end. We were always mindful of their danger on the offense.
“It was really nice to get the points at home, especially after giving away that late goal.”
The game started with a goalless first period, although Telford dominated proceedings with a string of shots on netminder Stevie Lyle.
Michal Satel struck for the Tigers on 24 minutes – an advantage they held until just 26 seconds before the end of the game, when Swindon opened their account.
But following agonising overtime defeats against Peterborough and Milton Keynes in recent weeks, Sam Zajac hit back for Telford to seal a dramatic win.
Watkins added: “I was pretty calm after they scored right at the end, so it was just a case of getting the guys refocused and back on track.
“We used the bench a lot today, so we had some good legs and I felt we would have good energy in overtime.
“Just after their goal went in, I said let’s just go and win this in overtime. You have to deal with it. You can’t get frustrated, or lose your mind over it. That’s hockey.
“As long as the guys are being professional about it, they’ll come back out the next shift and work extremely hard again.”
The Tigers return to action next weekend, when they travel to face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night, before hosting Milton Keynes on Sunday (6pm).