Looking back: When Raiders tamed Telford Tigers in play-offs
PUBLISHED: 14:30 17 April 2020
Romford Raiders and Telford Tigers enjoyed some great play-off battles back in the early 1990s.
The first post-season date in April 1991 ended in a 10-9 Raiders win at Rom Valley Way, after a line brawl in the sixth minute.
Shaun McFadyen and Jason Hannigan clashed first, before Tony Lovell and Mark Hazlehurst squared off and goalie Russ Jackson skated up ice to duel with opposite number John Wolfe.
Both goalies were ejected, along with Hazlehurst and Andy Leggatt, and the teams skated 3-on-3, with Paul Cast, 14, and Dean Musgrove, 15, now between the posts.
An Andy Heinze hat-trick and Rob Stewart goal put Raiders 4-0 up, but Tigers roared back to lead 8-7 after 53 minutes.
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Stewart and Hannigan traded goals, before Heinze’s late brace took his tally to six and won it.
Raiders won 14-7 in Telford six days later and, when the sides met again the following season, claimed seven power play goals in a 10-5 home victory.
They then lost 7-2 in Ayr, without injured duo Mark Budz and goalie Jackson, and 12-6 at home to Fife, but beat Ayr 5-3 in the return, despite only having nine skaters available.
Chris Leggatt’s hat-trick proved key and Raiders went close to a shock win in Fife as they led 3-2 and then saw Rich Tomalin have a goal ruled out in controversial fashion.
Fife rallied to claim a 5-3 victory, leaving Raiders with only to pride to play for in Telford in their final match of the campaign, but having to ice Jackson (despite a broken hand) as Brian Cox’s equipment had been left in Scotland!
Steve Hedington (2) and Gord Jeffrey put Raiders 3-1 up, but the hosts levelled before McFadyen restored Romford’s lead right in front of their travelling fans and Tomalin capped things off with a fifth and final goal.
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