Tigers stick to the plan against Pirates

Tigers stick to the plan against Pirates

Tom Watkins was happy to see his Tigers players avoid bad habits in their 5-2 win over Hull Pirates on Sunday night.

Victory at Telford Ice Rink means the English Premier League champions have now won their last twelve league games in a row.

And with two weeks to go until the play-offs start, Watkins believes Sunday’s win was proof his players want to end the regular season on a high.

He said: “It shouldn’t be hard to get up for a game and I thought we played pretty well tonight. If you don’t play hard or play your normal game, you run a lot of risks.

“You can pick up bad habits and possibly even injuries, because you’re not playing with the same intensity that you normally do. The guys did a good job tonight.

“We limited Hull to very few odd-man rushes and won a lot of face-offs. We also created a lot of good offence and apart from five minutes at the end of the first period, we were the better side.”

A feisty affair started with the Tigers dominating the opening exchanges, before they took the lead through Doug Clarkson on eight minutes.

Rick Plant doubled that advantage six minutes later, with Telford appearing to be comfortably ahead.

But a lapse in concentration saw the visitors hit back just a few moments later, thanks to Andrej Themar.

The second session was far quieter, although the Tigers extended their advantage through Corey McEwen on 39 minutes.

Defenceman Sam Zajac added a fourth for the county men after the restart, before Jason Silverthorn sealed victory on 52 minutes.

Telford forward Milan Kolena received a four-minute penalty for roughing with five minutes remaining, following a fight with Hull’s Jonathan Kirk. He was then given a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

The Pirates then snatched a consolation goal through Nathan Salem just moments later.

Watkins added: “There was a bit of feisty play here and there, and I thought overall it was a good performance in a game that didn’t have a huge amount riding on it.

“But there is still the winning streak and Dougie is chasing down 50 goals, so the guys have their personal targets.

“There’s every reason for the players to not want any bad habits going into the play-offs.”

The Tigers are back in action next weekend, when they travel to face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night.

On Sunday, they face Guildford Flames at Telford Ice Rink (6pm), after which they will be presented with the English Premier League trophy.

For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.

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Telford's Milan Kolena and Hull's Jonathan Kirk fight in the third period of the game