Tigers take points in overtime drama

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Telford Tigers logo Tigers coach Tom Watkins hailed his side’s battling qualities after a dramatic 3-2 play-off win over Guildford Flames on Wednesday night.

Victory means the Tigers remain in contention to finish in the top two of their group – and secure a place at next month’s finals tournament.

Danny Rose was the man who sealed two points for Telford with a powerful strike in overtime, after proceedings finished all-square at full time.

Matty Davies in action against Guildford Flames. Photo by John Unwins.And Watkins believes his side deserved to emerge with the upper hand, following a dramatic night at the Guildford Spectrum.

He said: “I think it was probably a great game for the fans to watch, with two teams making it hard for each other to get scoring chances.

“There was some solid netminding at both ends of the rink tonight and that is what play-off hockey is all about.

“I said to the boys after the game, that I really liked the way we battled tonight. We weren’t at our best, but we showed great commitment.

“I am really pleased to come away with two huge points on the road.”

The first period saw Telford fall behind after just three minutes, thanks to strike from Guildford’s Kari Santavori.

But the visitors were soon back on level terms, as Doug Clarkson scored with a deflection from Jonathan Weaver’s long-range shot on 15 minutes.

The second session was equally even-handed, with just a single goal from the Tigers separating the two sides.

That strike came from Corey McEwen, who slotted home from close range after fine work on the wing from Lubomir Korhon on 45 minutes.

The third period was another tight-contested affair – Guildford scored the only goal of the session through former Tiger Michal Satek with ten minutes remaining.

That left the game drawn at full time – and Rose pounced with a thunderous shot from close range after 90 seconds of extra play, following Rick Plant’s pinpoint pass on the breakaway.

Watkins added: “Winning in overtime always ramps things up and makes it much more exciting, but to come here in a play-off game and win is huge for us.

“Guildford did a good job of shutting us down when they beat us last week, and at times tonight it was difficult defensively.

“There were some good scoring opportunities, but like I said the netminders came up big and there were some huge moments in the game.

“It means Saturday against Peterborough is a massive game for us and we’ll go there for the win. That is the way you have to approach it.”

The Tigers conclude their play-off campaign with a trip to face Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday, before Sunday’s visit of Sheffield Steeldogs to Telford Ice Rink (6pm).

For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.

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