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- Slough Jets 2-4 Swindon Wildcats
- Wildcats win first game of weekend double-header
- Cats triumph despite serving 10 penalties during game
- Reporting by NED PAYNE
What a terrific effort by Cats. Real resolve in defence and huge credit should go to Skinns in goal as well.
GOAL! Slough 2 Wildcats 4, 59.26
With Rockman pulled, Swindon break out and Hoog squares for Bullas to slot into the empty net.
One minute left.
Brave save by Skinns.
There are 106 seconds left.
Slough pressing with the clock running down.
Just over three minutes left.
Visitors back to full strength.
Cats are just the one man down now.
Bullas off for delay of game.
Bakrlik gets two minutes.
Cats are now on nine penalties for the night, would you believe.
The officials have some sorting out to do now.
Bakrlik nails Baird, who winces as he comes off.
Sandvik and Towalski are in a heap. Sandvik claiming he was punched, but it's the Cats new signing who gets 2+10 for holding and misconduct.
Swindon have just over eight minutes to hang on.
Aldridge grimacing as he comes off. Looks like just a whack.
Final period, #SwindonWildcats leading 2-3. 14 minutes to go. Thrash the #SloughJets good!— @thelilchez 26 January 2013
Two minutes for Fojtik for holding. Can't say I agreed with that decision.
Swindlehurst is getting his stick changed.
Shots on goal so far are 31 by Slough and 20 by Swindon. I'd largely put that down to the fact that Swindon have served seven penalties to Slough's two.
Swindon have 19 minutes to hang on to a one-goal lead. Feeling confident?
And we're off.
Don't forget Cats are still a man down, remember, albeit for 12 seconds.
Players back out.
Three minutes until we resume.
This match is very much there for the taking for Swindon. Slough have been nothing like as good as the first two occasions the teams met this season.
That's the second period done. Swindlehurst still has 12 seconds to serve when period three starts.
GOAL! Slough 2 Wildcats 3, 38.37
Frankie Bakrlik has pulled the hosts back to within a goal on the powerplay. My, have Slough made mighty hard work of this.
If Slough don't score on this powerplay, they never will.
Swindlehurst gets two minutes for high sticks. This is a test now.
Baird gets two minutes for hooking.
Just over two minutes left of period two.
Jets are back to full strength now, by the way.
Swindon have taken their chances very well tonight. Slough have not.
GOAL! Slough 1 Wildcats 3, 34.14
The away side get a powerplay and within seconds they have scored. Head coach Aldridge is the man on the scoresheet with Hoog providing the assist.
I have to say that Slough have been massively disappointing tonight. Very little edge to them.
Finally Swindon manage to break out of defence and force Rockman into a couple of solid saves.
That's five powerplays Cats have survived with just over half the match gone.
Well, the Swindon fans aren't happy with that. Shane Moore gets 2+10 for checking from behind. Yet another Slough powerplay.
This has been a very strange game. Not much has happened for long periods.
Hoog trying to rally the troops from the bench.
GOAL! Slough 1 Wildcats 2, 25.30
James Hutchinson has got the Jets back in it. Assists from Ciaran Long and Pavel Gomeniuk, the latter newly-signed from Sheffield.
It's gone a bit quiet at the Hangar.
Fojtik gets two minutes for boarding.
The second period has started.
Here they come...
Zamboni out. Two minutes till we're back underway.
7:12pm Sat 26 Jan 13
Well done Cats, would like to see less penalties given away though. Can't afford to give away chances.
Mayi congratulate you on becoming the first person to leave a comment on the Comments section on the live blog? You haven't won a prize, but you have made (a very small bit of) history.
@nedpayne1 cats playing well, good to see them take their chances, jets PP has been poor in my opinion. #swindonwildcats— @slapshot6032 26 January 2013
They spent four more minutes serving penalties in that period but it matters not a jot. Swindon lead 2-0 and are in command as it stands. Skinns has impressed on his return to the side. Excellent penalty kill too. Slough could do with bucking their ideas up, mind, and I'm sure they will.
That's the end of the first period. Good job so far by the visitors.
It's a two-on-one for Slough but player-coach Slava Koulikov blows the chance, shooting straight at Skinns.
Two minutes for interference for Adam Greener.
Cats back to full strength now.
GOAL! Slough 0 Wildcats 2, 14.56
They might be short-handed but Swindin have just doubled their lead. Fojtik charges forward and is rewarded when he slams home from Jonas Hoog and Nell.
Just over five minutes left in the first period.
But immediately Slough are back on the powerplay as Joe Baird gets two minutes for interference.
Skinns has made a few decent saves so far.
The puck has just flown into the crowd twice and nearly taken the same girl out on both occasions. Well dodged.
Slough powerplay. Two minutes to Jan Melichar for hooking.
GOAL! Slough 0 Wildcats 1, 10.53
This game badly needed a goal, and we've got it. Hoog finishes off with the assists coming courtesy of the two new boys, Sandvik and Betteridge.
I'm sure we'd had about 13 goals by this point last Saturday.
Other than that, a pretty quiet opening.
Ex-Swindon man Ciaran Long pings off the outside of the post. Ryan Aldridge tried to sign him recently, of course.
Two minutes for Paul Swindlehurst for tripping.
The game is underway.
The man with the armbands tonight is Mr Popluhar, if you'll excuse me being tongue in cheek.
The net in one of the goals is being fixed...
My hunch was correct. Skinns is in goal for Cats. Gregg Rockman is between the pipes for Slough.
Players being introduced with the customary gusto.
@nedpayne1 I think it will proabably go to overtime tonight. Can we break the curse?— @chargingfungus 26 January 2013
@nedpayne1 5-3 to cats! And nell and hoog to show everyone how its done! #swindonstyle— @charrabi1 26 January 2013
We have clear ice.
Long-term injured duo Lee Richardson and Jamie Hayes not playing tonight of course, in addition to the absent Perkkio.
It's one of the bigger crowds I've seen at Slough. Good to see.
Zamboni still out there doing the rounds.
@nedpayne1 thinking a 5-3 cats win. Made my first trip to slough tonight, so hopefully see them get 2 points #swindonwildcats— @slapshot6032 26 January 2013
So I've received a mighty zero predictions so far. Hang your heads in shame.
The players are asked to clear the ice and they duly oblige. Eventually.
For those of you of a geeky nature, shirt numbers for the new boys are Sandvik (#24) and Betteridge (#11).
Where are these predictions then? Get them in!
Having had a decent look at him, I'm pretty confident Betteridge is wearing Jones' old jersey. Maybe he'll get his own at some point...
I'm not wildly confident in the 3G signal inside the Hangar. It seems to dip in and out. Might need a bit of patience during the game, but I will be doing my best!
Swindon could theoretically close the gap on Slough to two points this weekend. Easier said than done, of course.
For those of you who have had heads in the sand all day, Wildcats skipper Aaron Nell has been named as a reserve for Great Britain's Winter Olympic final qualifying squad. Nell attended a two-day training camp in Manchester earlier this week. Basingstoke's Greg Owen was the only EPL to make the full squad.
Come on boys get the weekend off to a good start! #2PointsPlease #swindonwildcats— @jackl86 26 January 2013
I'm not 100 per cent sure but I think Betteridge might be wearing Chris Jones' old shirt tonight.
And here come the Wildcats. Cue much cheering and drum-beating from the Swindon corner of the Hangar.
Slough's players have just come out on the ice.
Predictions for tonight please, however outrageous. Dont forget, use #swindonwildcats on Twitter when making your prediction.
Looking forward to seeing our 2 new boys play tonight!!! #swindonwildcats— @ThatCurlyBird 26 January 2013
Let's get an early shout in for you lot to get involved. Write your opinions in the Comments section below, or get that important point off your chest using #swindonwildcats on Twitter. I will reproduce the best comments in this live blog. Also, feel free to tweet me tonight, and throughout the week, on @nedpayne1. Always happy to hear from you.
The first thing I witnessed upon arriving tonight was the sight of half a dozen Wildcats players kicking a ball around in the car park. Let me put it this way, they are better with a puck than a ball.
Evening. Swindon take on Slough at the Hangar tonight. Get that laptop set up, sit back and enjoy.