Telford Tigers go down fighting to league leaders
Telford Tigers went down to a 6-3 defeat against Hull Pirates, who jumped to the top of the NIHL Moralee Conference.
Tigers’ title challenge had ended at the weekend with victories for Hull and Sheffield, and were hit with a major blow before the start of the game as captain and top scorer Jason Silverthorn was unavailable.
Also not icing were Dale White, Jordan Stokes, Adam Taylor and Brodie Jesson.
Tigers started the game brightly and after two minutes Dan Mitchell almost scored with a neat back-handed wrist shot that Hull netminder Adam Long did well to save.
In the third minute, Hull took the lead with their first shot on goal, James Chilcott passing from behind the goal to find the unmarked Sam Towner, who fired home from close range.
In the eighth minute, Tigers’ Jonathan Weaver was called for a hooking penalty, giving Hull a power play. Just 30 seconds into the man advantage, Bobby Chamberlain tapped in to increase Hull’s lead. Hull then had two great chances to score, but were denied by Tigers’ netminder Denis Bell, who made a save from a breakaway and a neat glove save from Jason Hewitt’s shot.
Tigers had a number of chances towards the end of the period, with Ricky Plant going closest when his goal-bound shot was deflected on to the top of the net. Hull scored their third goal just two minutes into the second period, former Tigers player Matty Davies back-handing the puck in from the right circle. Hull then took full control of the game with goals from James Archer and Lee Bonner to open up a 5-0 lead.
Tigers finally got on the score sheet in the 32nd minute. Scott McKenzie’s shot was initially saved by Long, but trickled over the line. Hull hit back almost immediately, with Chamberlain scoring his second goal of the night.
Warren Tait then pulled a second goal back for Tigers, while on power play, scoring from close range after a precise pass from Ricky Plant to cut the lead to 6-2.
Tigers’ Macauley Halford took exception to Chilcott’s check on the buzzer for the end of the period, Halford dropping the gloves and throwing several punches, but Chilcott refused to engage.
Hull started the third period with four minutes of power play time due to Halford’s penalty, but could not add to their score.
Plant then had a chance to score with a short handed breakaway, but Long saved his shot with his pads.
Adam Jones reduced the deficit further in the 58th minute with a powerful shot from the blue line that went in off the bar.