Sorry for the late post this week, ive been a little way laid with things but anyway here is a quick re-cap of the tough weekend the Tigers faced last saturday/sunday.
As weekends go for the Tigers, it was their toughest of the season so far, and you could argue, the toughest they are going to get. An away game to the current league champions and then the first visit of the current league leaders to the Telford Ice Rink.
The game away to MK was always going to be tough, and having a goal washed out in the first period player coach Tom Watkins could be forgiven for thinking it was not going to be the Tigers night. The Lightning then took a 2-0 lead which would be tough for the Tigers to overturn. Despite big Chris Allen scoring halfway through the game the Lightning would close out the win with a goal and an empty netter to seal a 4-1 win.
Then on to the big game of the weekend, a home game against the Phoenix on sunday. All week the build up was electric, the first visit of the Phoenix to Telford and a big crowd expected. Early estimates of 100 Phoenix fans proved way to conservative, in fact 200 Phoenix fans made the trip filling just about a third of the balcony. With more Tiger fans turning out too I wouldn't have been surprised if the balcony was only a couple of seats short of a sell out! It was a great atmosphere in Telford that night and very pleasing to see lots of interaction between both sets of supporters. There seams to be some sort of mutual respect between the two clubs, not surprising given both clubs history and reliance on their fans in the past! Anyway the game was a real contest for the first period. The Tigers were quick, moved the puck well, but seemed to just loose a bit of quality in executing their chances. Plus they came up against Adam Summerfield in fine form for the Phoenix. Sadly for the Tigers, I thought they ran out of steam during the second period. The odd man rushes dried up a bit, and they began chasing the puck. In the end the Phoenix chalked up a healthy victory, but the Tigers more than acquitted themselves.
Despite the loss, this was a game that did wonders for Telford, over 700 fans in the building! With the Phoenix remaining away games on a bank holiday and a saturday, Telford can expect large away crowds for those three fixtures!
This weekend, sees the Tigers play one fixture on sunday, hosting the MK Lightning. This will be another tough game as MK are quick and move the puck very well. MK should, while not as big, bring quite a few fans to Telford. For me, the Tigers need to work on preserving their energy, you cannot win a game in the first 20 or 40 minutes, you have to go the full 60! So Tom has to reign in their massive enthusiasm at the start. Telford should be able to get at least a point on home ice, but they need to play without mistakes. Given the recent release of Chis Allen, that job has only got tougher!
Good luck Telford!