EPL weekend preview

Telford Tigers’ netminder Thomas Murdy says Sunday’s clash with Guildford Flames is a must-win game in the club’s bid to make up ground in the EPL.

With games in hand over the majority of teams above them, Telford face Guildford with just one point separating them in the standings.

Games between the two sides are level at one win apiece this year, with Telford having beaten the Flames 4-1 during their previous encounter a fortnight ago.

Murdy said: “It’s going to be a huge game against the Flames and will be very much like a four-point game. All of the guys are looking forward to it.

“At this stage of the year, you want to be beating the teams around you in the table. It is important that we start climbing towards those leading teams.”

Telford also travel to face Basingstoke on Saturday evening, with Bison having beaten them twice so far this season.

Both of those games were played at the start of the campaign, when Telford struggled to convert heavy possession into goals.

“It’s something every team goes through at some point, and you’ll always have to get through those scoring slumps,” Murdy added.

“It looks like we’re out of it now and scoring well, so it will hopefully be a different result on Saturday.”

MK Lightning host Swindon Wildcats on Saturday looking to build on last weekend’s four-point haul.

Lightning picked up victories against Manchester Phoenix and Guildford to move back to the top of the table, but Head Coach Pete Russell is taking nothing for granted.

“We will have to be on our game and play a solid game with and without the puck,” said Russell.

“We’re starting to get back on track after a four-point weekend. Saturday was a real test of character which the guys passed, and Sunday was a gutsy road win which came from sticking to the plan.

“The boys should take all the credit for sticking at it and believing in the plan and our philosophy – so we’ll set out on Saturday to do the same again.”

Swindon head to Milton Keynes looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s disappointing defeat at Hull Pirates. Player/Coach Aaron Nell is keen to see a response from his team.

“Maybe we thought we were just going to turn up and beat Hull, but it’s a tough building to come to,” said Nell. “It’s a long trip and they work hard, but we didn’t match them.

“It’s disappointing because we’ve got a good thing going here and we just weren’t up for it. The first period was our worst of the year and it wasn’t good enough.”

“This weekend is massive for us. It doesn’t define a season, but if we can follow up our last two road trip defeats with results at Lightning and Phantoms then it makes our task a lot more manageable for the rest of the season.

“We haven’t started well in our last two games so we’ll need to lift the tempo but we’ve got the players able to do that, so I have faith in our system.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Basingstoke Bison v Telford Tigers
Guildford Flames v Peterborough Phantoms
MK Lightning v Swindon Wildcats
Sheffield Steeldogs v Bracknell Bees

Sunday

Bracknell Bees v Sheffield Steeldogs
Hull Pirates v MK Lightning
Manchester Phoenix v Basingstoke Bison
Peterborough Phantoms v Swindon Wildcats
Telford Tigers v Guildford Flames

(Image permission: Telford Tigers)

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