Smith promises 'play-off noise' despite unlucky defeat

Sam Smith

Sam Smith

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Chief sports writer

SWINDON Wildcats’ Sam Smith said his team was left ruing their luck after losing to a late goal against Bracknell Bees.

Heading into the last minute of regulation time the Wildcats were tied at 3-3 when a slapshot from Bees’ Jan Bendik took several deflections beforing sneaking past Stevie Lyle in goal.

“It was tough to lose in the last minute, it was kind of a bad bounce and we got a bit unlucky,” said Smith.

“I thought we played well enough to win and things didn’t go our way.”

Smith admitted he was scratching his head to work out why the Widcats weren’t able to make it three wins in three against Bracknell this season.

“It’s hard to tell why we lost to be honest, perhaps we just didn’t manage to get into our top gear,” he said.

“Maybe we needed to play a bit more desperate in the final period, I think we all thought it was going to OT. I think we definitely would have won it if it had gone to OT.”

Having beaten Bracknell twice this season Smith denied that the Wildcats were expecting an easy ride against their local rivals.

“I think we’ve beat them every time this season. Though when we play them it’s always close but the preparation was right, we just didn’t perform.

“Bracknell are always a hard team. They play very physically. Similarly to us they’re probably underachieving a bit this season.”

Smith refused to look down after the loss which saw the Bees go ahead of the Wildcats in the table.

“We know we’ve got the team to beat anyone in the league and if we can put it together we can make some noise in the play-offs.”

Smith said he was enjoying the higher profile his sport is getting at the moment with ice hockey on terrestrial TV at the Winter Olympics.

“I think the Russia v USA game being on primetime was great, I got a few messages off people who aren’t usually interested saying they were watching.

“We got one of the biggest crowds we’ve had this season. Hopefully it will inspire a few kids to take up ice hockey.”

Comments (1)

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9:45am Mon 17 Feb 14

IceLord says...

Therein lies the rub I believe.

In one article a player thinks they were unlucky and played well enough to win, yet on the same page the coach thinks they didn't work hard enough and got what they deserved.

I'm sure the happy-clappy brigade will point out Guildford lost to the Bees last night which proves how good a team the Bees are, ignoring the fact that the Flames have hardly won any games in the last ten except for an already lost cup semi-final and a game against.....the Wildcats .

Looking at the results this season, the performances and the league position, if it were possible, I think a huge clear-out of players is needed, even if it means going backward for a while and being the last-placed team until a good squad and team can be built up for the future. After all there's only so many times a coach can say 'we've got to work harder' and 'we were flat for a period and it cost us'. I've lost count I'm sure Ryan Aldridge is sick of this mantra too.

The expense of watching Swindon for two adults is now fairly high for most people so you need to have a competitive team to watch. Milton Keynes on Wednesday says a defeat and then buy-everyone Telford Tigers.....oh dear.

The 'Cats will scrape into the play-offs this season, so everyone will think that's great, but it's only off the back of Jets mid-season collapse and Peterborough's shenanigans - bearing in mind Jets have beaten the 'Cats 7-1 and Peterborough 8-6 after being 3-0 down - so it's not a season to be happy about if you like your ice-hockey and have been going for 20 years or more. I'm not just saying this for effect but I know a fair few long-time supporters who went in the '80s that don't bother anymore and that is a crying shame .

Anyway I've said enough over the course of the season and I think that's about it. Hopefully one day ice hockey in Swindon will get better and the long-suffering supporters will get something to cheer.

Nothing personal just purely about the ice hockey product.
Therein lies the rub I believe. In one article a player thinks they were unlucky and played well enough to win, yet on the same page the coach thinks they didn't work hard enough and got what they deserved. I'm sure the happy-clappy brigade will point out Guildford lost to the Bees last night which proves how good a team the Bees are, ignoring the fact that the Flames have hardly won any games in the last ten except for an already lost cup semi-final and a game against.....the Wildcats [surprise, surprise]. Looking at the results this season, the performances and the league position, if it were possible, [which it probably isn't] I think a huge clear-out of players is needed, even if it means going backward for a while and being the last-placed team until a good squad and team can be built up for the future. After all there's only so many times a coach can say 'we've got to work harder' and 'we were flat for a period and it cost us'. I've lost count I'm sure Ryan Aldridge is sick of this mantra too. The expense of watching Swindon for two adults is now fairly high for most people so you need to have a competitive team to watch. Milton Keynes on Wednesday says a defeat and then buy-everyone Telford Tigers.....oh dear. The 'Cats will scrape into the play-offs this season, so everyone will think that's great, but it's only off the back of Jets mid-season collapse and Peterborough's shenanigans - bearing in mind Jets have beaten the 'Cats 7-1 and Peterborough 8-6 after being 3-0 down - so it's not a season to be happy about if you like your ice-hockey and have been going for 20 years or more. I'm not just saying this for effect but I know a fair few long-time supporters who went in the '80s that don't bother anymore and that is a crying shame [mind you they were old school, you know the ones that didn't get up and move around during actual play but waited until there was a break in play or until the period ended]. Anyway I've said enough over the course of the season and I think that's about it. Hopefully one day ice hockey in Swindon will get better and the long-suffering supporters will get something to cheer. Nothing personal just purely about the ice hockey product. IceLord
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