SLOUGH Jets head coach Craig Moran believes his side sent a message out to their English Premier Ice Hockey League (EPIHL) rivals with victory over Telford Tigers on Sunday.

The Jets were thrashed by Tigers upon their return to the ice after the Christmas break, something Moran puts down to a lack of match practice.

But, buoyed by a spirited performance in defeat against fierce rivals Bracknell on Saturday, Slough mauled the big-spending Tigers 4-2 at the Telford Ice Rink the following night.

“The defeat early in the new year didn’t reflect the actual game,” Moran told the Observer. “The boys played with heart and ice hockey is one of those sports where things don’t go your way.

“Telford have the best forward line in the league so should be winning games, whereas we were quite weak at the back.

“You can go to the gym as much as you like but that doesn’t get you ready for the ice. As soon as you’ve been off it, it takes its toll on the body.” The Slough supremo added: “I think teams in the league probably wrote us off but we had a really good feeling on the coach on Sunday, ready to play with a good vibe.

“The boys were fatigued from the night before, but the win is massive for the club against one of the best teams in the league.

“It wasn’t as if there was just one goal in it, we dominated for 95% of the game, playing two lines with youngsters.” The Jets took the lead in Shropshire on 17 minutes when Ales Padelek beat Telford netminder Declan Ryan.

The margin increased in the second period when the Czech forward netted a second at 21.41 before his British counterpart Matt Towalski made it 3-0 in the 30th minute.

Sam Gospel soon replaced Ryan between the pipes, and the Tigers reduced the deficit to a single goal when Miika Kiriranta netted on the powerplay at 35.15 and Natham Salem fired home in the 39th minute.

With everything to play for in the final stanza, Kamil Tvrdek secured the points for Slough with a goal at 45.04.

Both sides took their timeout inside the final six minutes, but the Jets had done enough for a first win since December 15.

The victory was the perfect response for Jets after losing a hotly-contested derby 5-2 to Bracknell Bees on Saturday evening.

“The Bees’ team are seasoned EPIHL players whereas are guys have been brought through, so there is quite a difference with the standard,” said Moran.

“The young guys played well, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t bag all the chances we could’ve, but the team is definitely looking positive.

“I think it’s really important to not let our heads drop, and we’re showing character and playing as a team with no superstars.

“The senior guys are stepping up with the weight on their shoulders and Alan Lack is playing out of his skin, he’s worth his weight in gold.” After some tense opening exchanges, Shaun Thompson gave Bracknell the lead in the 15th minute, beating new goalie Andrej Vasiljevic.

Lack and Lewis Turner came together at 16.04 with the former Bee defending a cross checking on team-mate JJ Pitchley.

On his return from injury, Matt Foord doubled the visitors’ lead in the 18th minute, the last action of an entertaining first period at The Hangar.

Slough fought back to level the scores in the second stanza with Padelek and Tvrdek netting within 20 seconds of one another in the 25th minute.

Ollie Bronniman scored a crucial third goal for the Bees at 44.16, and the momentum was with Bracknell when Thompson netted on the powerplay in the 49th minute.

The Jets called their timeout with three minutes left on the clock and opted to pull their goalie soon after.

That left Bees’ Scott Spearing with the simplest of finishes into an empty net late on.

Moran has not ruled out making further signings ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, at home to Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday (6.30pm face/off) and away at Manchester Phoenix on Sunday (5.30pm).

“We’ve got a few more signings to make and I’d like two more to be in place before the January 31 deadline,” he said.

“I’d like to get another senior defenceman and Under-18 Great Britain player for the rest of the season. It means we will have quite a young team but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

“Sheffield are a tough team to play against, very physical depending on which imports they play. But we will not fall for that as staying out of the box is one of our aims.

“Manchester is always a hard team to go and play against with senior veterans like Tony Hand, who has been like a magician.

“I would love to finish in fifth position, our aim is still mid-table and to reach the play-offs.” **PICK up a copy of the Observer, out now, for all the latest sports news and action including pictures of Slough versus Bracknell** **FOLLOW the Observer on Twitter at @Observer_sports**