Telford Tigers hit form to clip Blackburn Hawks' wings
Telford Tigers hit the goal trail in the NIHL Moralee Division as they roared to victory against Blackburn Hawks.
Tigers proved too strong for the visiting Hawks, running out emphatic 9-1 winners despite head coach Tom Watkins insisting his side had not been at their best.
Tigers had beaten Hawks in both previous meetings this season, but victory in the away game had been overturned as Tigers did not have the required bench coach and the points were awarded to Blackburn.
Tigers started the game strongly and opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
Scott McKenzie played a diagonal pass to Adam Taylor, who burst into the Blackburn end and fired a wrist shot into the top left-hand corner.
Blackburn responded less than a minute later with Josef Istocy shooting through the legs of Net minder Dennis Bell to level the game.
But Tigers were soon back in front when Ricky Plant tipped Adam Jones’ blue line shot past Blackburn net minder Niks Trapans to make it 2-1.
The hosts immediately added a third. Jason Silverthorn won the face off and passed to Adam Jones who sent a long pass to Taylor in the Blackburn defensive zone. Taylor picked out deadline day signing Macauley Halford at the far post and he slid the puck into the net.
Ricky Plant teed-up Dale White for Tigers’s fourth of the evening as the hosts continued to dominate.
Bell then made an incredible save to deny Hawks a second, managing to clear the puck off the line with his stick while falling backwards following a deflected shot.
Tigers increased their advantage on 39 minutes when Plant skated with the puck from behind his own goal line to the Blackburn end and then played a perfect drop pass to Brodie Jesson, who scored with a wrist shot.
Goal number six arrived in the 47th minute while on the power play, Silverthorn tipping Jonathan Weaver’s shot past Trapans.
Taylor added his second to make it 7-1 after being sent clear by Warren Tait.
Tait then put his name of the scoresheet before Nick Oliver wrapped up the scoring.
But Watkins insisted it was a mixed performance from his title-chasing side.
“It was not our best performance but we did more than enough to get the points.
“I moved the lines around to try to get some more balance across all three lines. At times we were excellent and other times we made some poor decisions.
“But I really liked the atmosphere in the rink tonight and it was fun to hear the fans chanting.”