MATCH REPORTS: Swindon Wildcats record impressive weekend victories
The Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats completed yet another four-point weekend thanks to wins against the Basingstoke Bison on Saturday evening and the Bees IHC in Slough on Sunday.
Five straight goals on Saturday evening was enough to see the Cats overturn a 0-2 deficit heading into the second period at the Link Centre. The Bison came out of the blocks flying and had a couple of early looks at Renny Marr in the Swindon net, but at 3:23 they would open the scoring thanks to an effort from Adam Jones.
At 7:45 there would be a change in netminder when Dan Weller-Evans was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Alex Mettam. At 16:22 the visitors doubled their advantage when Zack Milton was able to find a tip on the powerplay and increase the lead to 0-2 thanks to assists from Adam Jones and Alex Roberts.
In the middle period, the Wildcats came alive again, this time outshooting the Bison 16-4, and scoring three goals of their own. Firstly at 29:19 Emil Svec pounced on a rebound from a Neil Liddiard shot to score his first goal of the weekend. The second half of the middle stanza then became the Balint Pakozdi show as two goals from him saw the Wildcats take a 3-2 lead into the final period.
Firstly, at 33:31, Pakozdi had all the room in the world coming off the right wing to fire high past Mettam to tie the game up, before at 36:03, Tomasz Malasinski nearly went coast to coast but instead of shooting slid the puck across the crease and for Balint to fire home.
In the third period, the Bison battled back themselves outshooting the Wildcats by 10-6, however it would be the Wildcats who increased their lead. At 51:51 Tomasz Malasinski peeled off from his defender well and again had loads of time to fire past Mettam after Pakozdi returned the favour to Tomasz. The final goal of the evening was scored by Emil Svec at 55:20 when a horrible defensive turnover from the Bison allowed Eddie Bebris and Svec a 2-on-1 breakaway and a simple pass move gave Mettam no chance on the shot.
Heading into Sunday the Wildcats again found themselves a goal down in the opening period. This time Mikey Power finding room in front of the net at 13:45 to give the Bees the lead. However, it wouldn’t last long before that man again Emil Svec tied the game at 15:57 firing high above the shoulder of Adam Goss in the Bees goal. Less than three minutes later, it was 1-2 thanks to another goal from Balint Pakozdi with the assist this time going to player/coach Aaron Nell.
In the second period the Wildcats would score another three goals, this time kicking things off with two goals in 41 seconds. Firstly, Tomasz Malasinski found room in front of the net to make it 1-3 at 31:09 with assists going to Aaron Nell, and a first point in Swindon colours for Declan Balmer. At 31:50 it was 1-4 when Eddie Bebris set up yet another goal for Emil Svec who fired home at the back door for his fourth goal of the weekend.
The Bees did bounce back and stop the run of goals when Josh Martin scored a superb unassisted goal at 34:54 before Declan Balmer fed the puck to Head Coach Aaron Nell to skate into the Bees zone and fire a puck low into the bottom left-hand corner of the net at 36:03 to complete the Wildcats scoring for the weekend.
Into the third period, the Bees put up a valiant comeback when firstly Dominik Gabaj scored a brilliant solo effort at 46:20 before Niklas Ornmarker made things really interesting with a goal which reduced the lead to one at 56:02. The Cats were able to hold on and secure a four-point weekend helping them up to second in the league table, the same week after securing their spot in the Autumn Cup Final.
This coming weekend sees the visit of the Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday before travelling north to Sheffield to take on the Steeldogs on Sunday afternoon.