Fixture

Date Time League Season
September 18, 2021 7:00 pm Challenge 2021-22

Result

Team1st2nd3rdFinal
Telford0022
Pitbulls2305

Recap

The Bristol Pitbulls started their homecoming season with a gritty 5-2 pre-season road win over the Telford Tigers.

It was the first chance that new Pitbulls Head Coach, Jamie Elson, had to see his team in action and he left satisfied with what he’d seen.

Elson said: “It was a positive. The message was the bigger picture, focussing on the process. While it was the first step of getting the new team on the ice, obviously, you want to win games. So we’re happy with the win.

“Was it perfect? No. Were we expecting it to be perfect? No. But there was enough positives to make it a good experience. We started to see a bit of some line combos, some nice goals and it’s a step in the right direction.”

With Bristol still a few weeks away from their new rink opening, they’ve started the season a little later than other teams. Telford had already played two games against Coventry and their match readiness showed itself in the early phases of the game.

After surviving two quick fire penalties, Bristol opened the scoring when Mason Lipsey scored his first goal for the club eight minutes into the game. The goal had the immediate effect of settling the team as they started to control the puck for long periods in the Telford zone.

A goal credited to Carter Lloyd doubled Bristol’s lead in the dying seconds of the first period. A second by Lipsey and further goals by Richie Hargreaves and Bailey Hind-Pitcher then increased the lead to 5-0 by the game’s half-way point.

Both teams decided to change goalies at that point, Bristol’s Tyler Perre being replaced by John Dibble. With it, Telford changed their approach to the game, more willingly getting into Bristol’s faces. As a result, Telford got themselves on the scoreboard. Tellingly both of their goals came through penalty issues for Bristol; a delayed penalty for the first and a double powerplay for the second.

Reflecting on the momentum shift, Elson said: “At 5-0 we were at a point where we looked like we might run away a little bit. Obviously we didn’t want to keep getting into a game where it got a bit crazy like that. But penalties started taking over.

“When you’ve got a team 5-0 down and they’re dead and buried, if that was a league game, to take that number of penalties and let a team creep back into 5-2 and back into contention, that’s not what we want to be about. Another learning curve, but it killed the game.

“To be fair to them, at 5-0 they didn’t cave. They came back out, started throwing some hits, getting after us and getting a bit of something going. And it worked for them because we responded and took a few dumb ones. They got back into the game by stepping up the tempo.”

With Bristol fielding a young team this year, Elson was particularly pleased at how well the younger players stepped up given some of their inexperience at senior level.

Elson said: “We haven’t had much time together, so we put lines together based on trying to have some existing chemistry.

“But, we knew what we were getting from Mason. He’s a goal scorer. He’s got a high end shot, a high end release, and he picked up a few nice ones. That was nice to see. But overall, I think we moved the puck around and scored some nice ones.”

Bristol now have three weeks to prepare before starting their league campaign on 10th October in an away game at Milton Keynes.

Venue

Telford Ice Rink
Telford Ice Rink, St Quentin Gate, Hollinswood, Hollinswood and Randlay, Telford, Telford and Wrekin, West Midlands, England, TF3 4JQ, United Kingdom