Shropshire Star

Telford Tigers rue slow start as they lose at the Raiders

Tom Watkins was left frustrated by Telford Tigers’ slow start against Romford Raiders as they fell to defeat in the National Ice Hockey League.


The Tigers twice came from behind to draw level in the game as they were looking to bounce back after defeats against Peterborough and Leeds last weekend.

But they fell to defeat as the Raiders scored twice to end Saturday’s game with a 4-2 final scoreline. Tigers’ head coach Watkins said: “We made a very slow start to the game and were not at our best in the first period.

“We didn’t manage their speed and forecheck well and our defence turned over far too many pucks in our defensive zone.

“Our forwards turned over far too many pucks in the neutral zone and at the blue line which saw us get out-shot 21 to four which just can’t happen if you expect to compete.

“We were much improved in the second and third period and had several good chances to tie the game with a breakaway and some power play time but we just couldn’t get the goal we needed.”

Injuries and suspension were hitting the team hard as they were still missing Joe Aston, Connor Lee, Aidan Wilson, Archie Hazeldine, James Smith and Matty Bloor.

A disappointing first period of the game saw the home side pepper the Tigers’ goal with shots and the only surprise was that the breakthrough took 14 minutes. Raiders finally scored through Jesper Ericksson.

An improved second period saw the visitors equalise after five minutes. Fin Howells set up Vladimir Luka to level the game. But parity only lasted two minutes as the Raiders regained the lead with a goal from Tjay Anderson.

Harry Ferguson was given a misconduct penalty midway through the second period, gifting the home side a power play. But for the second game running Tigers’ penalty kill came up with a short-handed goal. Jesse Sutton broke away to score with a cool finish.

And just as had happened previously the teams were only level for two minutes as Raiders scored their third goal through Adam Laishram.

A close third period saw Telford push hard to gain an equaliser, but were denied several times and Raiders sealed the win with an empty net goal from Coy Prevost in the dying seconds.