SOLIHULL Barons will hope for an immediate response in this Sunday’s home tie against the Sheffield Steeldogs after consecutive losses to top-of-the-table Telford Tigers last weekend.
The first of the ties at the Silver Blades Solihull Ice Rink saw the Barons keep the Tigers within touching reach within the first two periods, although it only took two minutes for Jack Watkins to open the scoring after being played through by Scott McKenzie.
Josh Bruce levelled on five minutes, but with the number of shots being posed to Sam Hewitt’s goal, it was only a matter of time before Telford notched again on the scoresheet.
And so they did before the end of the first period, Jason Silverthorn netting two and one for Scott McKenzie to take control of the game.
But Solihull would hit back through through Niklas Ottosson’s solo goal, although the substantial pressure failed to show on the scoreboard as Telford still maintained a 4-2 lead going into the final period.
Solihull continued to press forward but Jason Silverthorn’s goal gave Telford a crucial three-point advantage that would prove unassailable, whilst McKenzie beat Hewitt twice more including a penalty goal, and a fourth for Silverthorn to wrap up the scoring – perhaps a scoreline that failed to reflect the threat that the hosts posed.
The reverse fixture in Telford would at least reflect some improvement in chance conversion, despite a second loss in two days to the Tigers.
It was three minutes into the game when Joseph Aston found the net for Telford, though Ottosson ensured Solihull hit back immediately, but the Tigers demonstrated exactly why they sit top of the pile – dispatching twice more through Watkins and Doug Clarkson before the period end to prop themselves ahead.
Jed Moreland’s goal gave a hint of déjà vu to processions to notch Telford 4-1 ahead, although Adam Brittle gave hope in the form of a powerplay goal and a solo effort to make the scoreline a little more uneasy for the hosts.
There was a sense of jubilation when Brittle then put away the equaliser in the final period – which was quickly extinguished as the Tigers slotted four goals in ten minutes to blow the visitors out of the water.
Elliott Farrell struck a consolation goal, but scant consolation at that as despite their hard fought efforts, the Barons were left to ponder what could have been had they maintained the momentum that had seen them launch a comeback.
Sheffield Steeldogs will pose a similar test for Solihull in the Moralee Division on Sunday (6pm), currently sitting second in the table behind the Tigers, with tickets available from £10 for adults, £6 for concessions, and £29 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children).