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Flames open playoffs with win over League champion Telford Tigers

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Guildford Flames logo To kick off the playoffs, Ben Campbell had a couple of goals and Mike Will recorded his first shutout of the season as the Flames stunned the league champion Telford Tigers with a 3-0 win at their Shropshire base. In addition to playoff importance, the success was significant in light of the season trend with the Tigers holding a perfect 6 and 0 record against the Flames while also boasting just 5 regulation losses in 48 league contests.

Mike Will who turned aside all 24 shots he faced to back his side to the playoff win.  Photo by John Uwins.The visitors got through the opening period with a lead thanks to the frame’s only goal by Campbell at 13:22. They had a great opportunity to expand the difference midway through the 2nd when the powerplay went to work on back to back penalties, even a few seconds of 5 on 3 time, but the Tigers penalty killing was well up to the task to keep the 1 goal difference in tact to start the final session. In the 3rd, Campbell’s 2nd of the contest 97 seconds from time offered breathing space for Surrey’s men who added another into an empty net 2 ticks from close off the stick of Tuomas Santavuori.

“When you play a solid overall team defensive game and get good goaltending, you are going to have success on a lot of nights,” said Paul Dixon. “In a nutshell those were our circumstances in getting the win. We were very tight in our end, and we were able to limit the league’s most potent offensive club to just 24 shots, and Mike was right there when they did get an opportunity. It was a huge win for us both in terms of playoff success and confidence moving deeper in to the round, but at the end of the day it is just 1 game of 6, and there is a lot more work to be done if we intend to advance to the semi finals. It is important that we re-set for Saturday when Sheffield visits, and realise we still have huge task ahead.”

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