Spring Cup: Top two claim wins again

Scott McKenzie delivers the killer blow to deny Bees in penalty shots (PHOTO: Steve Brodie)

SUNDAY

Telford Tigers 4 Bees 3 (OT)

Scott McKenzie’s winning penalty shot ended Telford Tigers’ three-game losing streak to get them back to winning ways against the Bees.

It was a hard fought game as the 2019-20 NIHL National League champions looked to bounce back after the recent losses saw them miss out on the Spring Cup, but it would be a welcome confidence boost regardless.

For Bees, it was an opportunity missed as they tried to get themselves off the bottom of the table and while the point gained shows something for their effort, it was a case of what might have been.

Ciaran Long opened the scoring after five minutes for Doug Sheppard’s side, with Lewis Hook adding to it after 25 minutes to double their lead.

Two powerplay goals in the space of 34 seconds saw the pendulum swing the other way as David Clements and Jack Watkins were both on target.

Ivan Antonov was on target five seconds before the end of the middle period to set up an interesting third act as both teams were playing out a fascinating contest.

Telford left it late to get back on level terms again as Jonathan Weaver finished the equaliser in the final couple of minutes to take the game behind regulation time.

It went all the way to penalty shots where McKenzie came up trumps in the big moment to clinch the second point and a much needed Tigers win.

Sheffield Steeldogs 6 Raiders 3

Two goals from Liam Kirk bookended another winning night for Sheffield Steeldogs as the Spring Cup champions kept their run going to defeat Raiders 6-3.

Greg Wood’s side are two games away from completing a 100% record in the competition and on this form, it’s hard to see who could stop them as they played their first home game since winning the tournament.

The first period set the tone for the night as Kirk opened the scoring after five minutes, followed by finishes from Lewis Bell and James Spurr to make it three without reply at the end of the first.

Erik Piatak pulled one back on the powerplay, but the small dent in the lead didn’t make much of a difference as Jonathan Phillips and Ben O’Connor added further markers, both with the man advantage to make it 5-1.

The job was effectively done and although Piatak scored twice more in the final five minutes to make the scoreline more respectable, up popped Kirk with an empty net finish to complete the job for Steeldogs.

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