Telford Tigers roar on for biggest victory of season in Bristol
Telford Tigers had a rampant second and third period to thank for a heavy 8-1 win at lowly Bristol Pitbulls – with boss Tom Watkins still wanting more.
The travelling Tigers, missing several regulars through injury and suspension, were locked at 1-1 at the end of the first period against struggling Bristol.
And having worked up a 3-1 lead in the second period, Watkins' side were indebted to netminder Brad Day – who went on to win man of the match despite the seven-goal success – to keep hold of their advantage.
Close-season signings Jesse Sutton, the Canadian import, and Harry Ferguson each fired a brace, with James Smith, Vladimir Luka, Fin Howells and Jake Price also on target on a night head coach felt a biggest victory of the season flattered his Tigers.
Watkins said of Tigers' NIHL success: “That was an important two points on the road with a scoreline that flatters us somewhat.
"The game was much closer than an 8-1 win, with Bristol putting us under heavy pressure for long periods. A mix of good goaltending and clinical finishing was the difference with much improvement required in the parts in between.
"There will be games where we play better than that and lose so we’ll take the points and get home to prepare for our next game."
Smith opened the scoring after four minutes with his first National League goal since stepping up from the club's Laidler Division side last week. Ed Bradley hit back for the hosts 10 minutes later.
Sutton and Ferguson struck within a minute early in the second period, the former after a perfect pass from Luka. Netminder Day shone for the second game in succession for the rest of the period from heavy home pressure.
Luka made it 4-1 with a powerful shot from a tight angle before Ferguson powered in his second from distance.
Howells, Sutton and Price all converted in the final period for what eventually proved to be a routine victory.