Guildford Flames’ Player/Coach Paul Dixon was a happy man after seeing his team bounce back from defeat at Peterborough Phantoms with victory against Sheffield Steeldogs.
Saturday’s trip to Peterborough saw Flames on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline, but they produced a polished performance back on home ice to win 6-3 against in-form Sheffield.
Dixon commented: “The first 10 to 12 mins of the first period Peterborough came at us hard. We gave up two goals we could have prevented, but we didn’t, and from then you are playing catch up, which has happened just a little too much this season.
“We have to be more resourceful in finding ways to ensure we do not spend too much time as the trailing team.
“In the second period we were much better and had some great chances and pulled it close, but when you are digging out of a hole that size, you can’t afford any more mistakes, and we made some that ended up in our net.
“We were much more consistent throughout Sheffield’s visit and it allowed us to be the team in the driver’s seat for most of the night which is a much easier situation.
“We were able to dictate the play a little more and picked up some much needed offense to secure an important win to head into Christmas on a positive note.”
Telford Tigers’ Head Coach Tom Watkins praised an improved defensive performance from his men, after they secured their second shut-out in as many weeks with victory over Hull Pirates.
Sunday’s 3-0 success on Humberside followed a 4-0 win in Milton Keynes the week before, and confirms Telford’s improving status as having one of the tightest rearguards in the EPL.
Both wins were backstopped by youngster Sam Gospel, but with highly-rated netminder Tom Murdy also in the ranks, Watkins believes improvements are showing across his squad.
He said: “It’s good for Sam, but the whole team has been playing much better defensively over the last few weeks. It’s great to have another clean sheet, but it’s also about the five guys in front of him.
“They’re all managing the puck well at the moment, making good decisions and not giving up odd-man rushes. Tonight was a good all-round effort from the whole team.”
Sunday night’s win came after goals from Peter Szabo (above) and Blaho Novak gave The Tigers a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.
A goalless second session was followed by another goal from Szabo after the break – his fifth of the weekend, after scoring a hat-trick in Saturday’s win 7-3 over Bracknell Bees.
Watkins added: “I’m really happy with how we controlled the game tonight and gave up very few shots. It’s all about doing the right thing and making the right decisions all night long.
“Blaho had a slow start to the year, but he’s played really well over the last few weeks and adds a lot to our offense. Having those depth guys is really important to us and helps with our energy levels.
“He’s a hugely important member of this team and likes to play aggressively when he needs to.”
(Image permission: Steve Brodie)