WHEN Chris Jones scored his first EPL goal at the beginning of the 2009/10 campaign, he could have been forgiven for thinking that the next one would not be too long in coming.
But that strike during a four-game spell with Romford would have to sustain the Welshman for more than three years, as time spent with Cardiff in the ENL meant he was not to play in the second tier of British ice hockey again until joining the Wildcats this season.
On Saturday, forward Jones’ second EPL goal finally arrived in the 4-2 home triumph over Telford, which the 21-year-old admits was not before time.
“It was my first goal for Swindon and it was very special,” he said.
“I got a pass in the slot from Swinny (Paul Swindlehurst) and I took the first shot which the goalie saved and then put in the rebound.
“I had forgotten what it was like to score because the last time I did it was when Romford were in the league.
“It ended up being the game-winning goal, so that was really good. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for the next one.”
Jones’ effort was the third of the night against a Tigers side that Swindon could have buried more convincingly.
Captain Aaron Nell gave the home side the lead at 12.33 with a close range wristshot, following several saves by netminder Declan Ryan.
Nicky Watt doubled the advantage on the backhand 18 seconds before the close of the first period, assisted by Lee Richardson.
Jones increased the advantage further (22.25) with a simple strike, only for Telford to begin their comeback in the third period.
Jaroslav Kruzik beat netminder Dean Skinns at 53.21 and Luke Brittle (57.04) set up a nervous finale.
But with the Tigers pulling Ryan in order to push for the equaliser, Watt hit home an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining, assisted by Michal Kapicka and Swindlehurst.
“It was our first win for a few games so it was good to get back to winning ways,” added Jones.
“I think we’ve struggled to win at home recently and it’s always nice to give the fans something to shout about.
“We’ve spoken about working hard because we think we’ve lacked that work ethic in the last couple of weeks. We worked very hard during the week and we put it into practice on Saturday.
“We shouldn’t have been on the same ice as them last night, we were by far the better team.”