The Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates produced a blistering performance on Saturday night to overcome NIHL National League leaders Telford Tigers in a 6-3 game.
An end-to-end first period saw both sides create fantastic chances, with Ash Smith and Brad Day equal to everything both offences could throw at them. The deadlock was eventually broken by the Pirates when Tom Stubley’s initial shot was redirected by Matt Bissonnete straight into the path of Matty Davies, who had an easy task in opening the scoring [8:59], the only goal of the opening 20 minutes.
With the Tigers starting the second period on the power play, it didn’t take them long to level the game. Brandon Whistle finding Jason Silverthorn in space who drove the puck up over Smith for 1-1 [20:19].
Undeterred, the home side reacted almost immediately when patient build up play from David Norris saw him slip the puck to a waiting Jason Hewitt in front of the Tigers’ net, the Pirates player-coach regaining the lead for his side [21:28].
As the game opened up the Tigers once more found themselves level. Great play around the Pirates’ net was finished when Daniel Mitchell spotted Jack Watkins alone in the slot, who fired past Smith [25:32].
As the game reached the halfway mark the Pirates yet again took the lead. Bissonnette finished an outstanding solo goal by out-muscling a Tigers d-man, drawing Day and faking around him for a 3-2 scoreline [30:46].
With no further score in the second period, the third began with both teams pushing for an advantage, however neither able to convert. As the match entered the final 10 minutes it was the Pirates who gained the upper hand with two goals inside a remarkable 15 seconds.
Their fourth came when a 3-on-2 breakaway saw Hewitt skate unchallenged down the right hand side of the ice before slamming the puck five-hole past Day [53:40]. The fifth followed immediately after when the Pirates won the resulting face off, streamed back into the Tigers’ zone and Steven Chalmers squared to Sam Towner. The forward saw his initial shot blocked by Day but pocketed the rebound [53:55].
Stunned, the Tigers pushed to recover and grabbed their third, again on the power play. A slick passing move finished when Richard Plant set up Silverthorn to bring the scoreline within two [56:16].
Another late penalty against the Pirates saw the visitors call their time-out and pull Day to make it a 6-on-4. The Pirates stood resolute, killing off the penalty then sealing the victory when James Archer’s patient backhand pass set up Norris for an empty net goal [59:39].
The Pirates’ weekend would finish in impressive fashion; travelling to Bracknell on Sunday and running out 6-3 victors for the first 4-point weekend since late November.
Man Of The Match Awards:-
Telford Tigers – #22 Jason Silverthorn
Hull Pirates – #27 Steven Chalmers
Author – Greig Cardwell