Swindon Wildcats 2-1 Telford Tigers (after penalty shots)

The match started and on the very first shift, Swindon gained a man advantage as Doug Clarkson received a 2 minute penalty for tripping at 0:26. After surviving the powerplay, the Tigers had some pressure on the Wildcats without threatening much. At 8:02, it was the turn of the Tigers to go on the powerplay as former-Tiger Max Birbraer picked up 2 minutes for roughing. Despite having a player less, the Wildcats looked the most likely to score during the 2 minutes. After the powerplay, the pattern resumed of Tigers having plenty of the puck, but without threatening Stevie Lyle too much. At 16:09, Jason Silverthorn was given a 2 minute penalty for tripping, but the Wildcats were unable to make the man advantage count and the first period finished goalless.

The first goal came at 25:47 when a shot from Sam Zajac by the blue line was blocked by Lyle and fell in front of Silverthorn, who was able to finish from just outside the crease. Lyle picked up a tripping penalty (served by Toms Rutkis) at 28:22; Milan Kolena finished a check on the boards behind the goal and as he was skating back, was tripped by Lyle. Kolena went face-to-face with Lyle before more players came across to the confrontation. The Tigers were unable to take advantage of the extra man and extend their lead. At 30:48, Sliverthorn picked up a 2 minute penalty for hooking and Lee Richardson was given 2 minutes for slashing, resulting in 2 minutes of 4v4 hockey. Richardson was soon back in the box with a 2 minute delay of game penalty at 34:42, but the score remained 1-0 through the powerplay. As the period came to an end, the Tigers ran into penalty trouble with Luke Brittle (slashing) and Matty Davies (delay of game) picking up penalties at 37:25 and 38:24 respectively. The Wildcats took full advantage of having 2 extra skaters and Ben Davies scored from close range at 38:37.

The Tigers survived the rest of second period and the start of the third period with a skater less and were down a man again at 42:25 when Joe Miller was given 2 minutes for roughing. The score remained at 1-1 with the Wildcats looking dangerous on the break and stoppages in play often resulting in players coming together, but with no further penalties being called. At 57:14 Mark Smith received a 2 minute penalty for delay of game, but Telford’s powerplay was ineffective again and it was off to overtime.

3-on-3 hockey tends to be fast moving with plenty of shots, but the Tigers seemed reluctant to pull the trigger at times and neither side was able to find a winner in the five minutes, so it was time for penalties. Jonas Hoog took the first penalty and scored with a low finish past Ondrej Raszka. Michal Satek lost control of the puck, Tomasz Malasinski’s shot was saved down low, Silverthorn shot wide, Jan Kostal shot over and with the last penalty, Kolena lifted the puck over Lyle’s stick to level at 1-1, bringing on sudden death penalties. Birbraer’s penalty was saved by Raszka’s pads, whilst Lyle’s pads kept our Clarkson’s penalty. Aaron Nell put his penalty over Raszka’s glove to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. Macauley Heywood stepped up for the Tigers, but his penalty went wide and the Tigers dropped their first point of the season.

Points (Wildcats): Ben Davies (1+0), Aaron Nell, Jonas Hoog (0+1)
Points (Tigers): Jason Silverthorn (1+0), Sam Zajac (0+1)

PIMs (Wildcats): Lee Richardson (4 PIMs), Max Birbraer, Stevie Lyle, Mark Smith (2 PIMs)
PIMs (Tigers): Jason Silverthorn (4 PIMs), Doug Clarkson, Luke Brittle, Matty Davies, Joe Miller (2 PIMs)

Shots on goal (Wildcats): 28 (7-9-9-3)
Shots on goal (Tigers): 38 (11-13-9-5)

Man of the Match (Wildcats): Ben Davies
Man of the Match (Tigers): Sam Zajac.

To read what Aaron Nell had to say after the game, click here
To read what Tom Watkins had to say after the game, click here

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