Tigers’ boss wants an end to “streaky hockey”

Telford Tigers will be told to eliminate “streaky hockey” in this weekend’s games against Sheffield Steeldogs and MK Lightning.

The Tigers have conceded goals in the final 30 seconds of their last three matches, but are still riding high at the top of the EPL.

They travel to Yorkshire on Saturday evening, before Sunday’s top of the table clash with second-placed Lightning.

Head Coach Tom Watkins said: “We need to make sure we are playing sixty minutes of hockey and that is something, as a team, we haven’t been great at this year.

“We’ve been playing a lot of what I would call streaky hockey, where we’ll have a couple of good periods here and there.

“We had three good periods in Milton Keynes, but other than that it has been a strong finish and a slow start, or the other way round.

“It has to be a sixty minute performance every shift, every night. It’s up to us to demand that of the boys every day and hopefully we’ll start to reap the rewards.

“There is no easy game in this league and the Steeldogs have got some quality guys. They’ve had a strong start to the season, despite being a few players short.

“Over the last few weeks they’ve had some good results, and it is always a very tough game in Sheffield. I’m looking forward to Sunday and it should be a great atmosphere at the rink when we play Milton Keynes.

“The games are really close this season, which makes it exciting for fans and creates a good playing environment.

“Anything can happen, which in many ways is the beauty of sport and especially ice hockey.”

Sunday’s game against Lightning is expected to attract a big crowd to Telford Ice Rink and netminder Ondrej Raszka has called on home fans to roar the Tigers to victory.

Lightning won a thrilling encounter between the teams at Milton Keynes last week, but Raszka is looking forward to gaining the upper hand on visiting goalie Przemyslaw Odrobny – a fellow Polish international – this time around.

He said: “Having a full building to play in front of doesn’t just help the netminder, but the whole team as well.

“If they are pushing for you to play even better, then that is very good to hear and always helps you to put in a much better performance.

“If anyone is thinking of coming on Sunday, then I would say to just come and be loud. It will really help the team.

“We have a really good team and a good group of players. We’re working hard to win games and I think we’ve got a good chance of winning something this season.

“That is what we’re pushing for.

(Image permission: Steve Brodie)

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