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ICE HOCKEY: Cats need power of positive thinking
WILDCATS head coach Ryan Aldridge might have been left with mixed feelings after last night’s 6-5 home defeat to Basingstoke, but the Link Centre supremo was determined to leave all negative thoughts behind with the play-offs closing in.
Swindon were subjected to a humiliating 10-2 defeat at Milton Keynes on Saturday but showed fine battling qualities against the Bison last night, having been 3-0 down with just over 12 minutes played.
“The frustrating thing after Saturday is how we started,” said Aldridge, speaking on last night’s loss.
“We started as we did on Saturday and for me that was a big shock, because I’d have thought the boys would have learnt.
“It took us 10 minutes to wake up, but the big plus was the character the boys showed to bring it back.
“We have to stay positive this time of year, obviously I wasn’t happy (on Saturday) and I wasn’t happy the first 10 minutes (of last night), but we can’t get down about that second loss, because it’ll kill us later on. We’ve got to forget about it.
“We were horrendous (against Milton Keynes) and we know it. I felt bad for our travelling fans. Certain guys know they didn’t play great.
”I hate losing as much as anybody but we’ve got to move on, it’s as simple as that.”
Swindon found themselves a goal down after just 11 seconds against Basingstoke last night when former Wildcats star Jaroslav Cesky rounded netminder Dean Skinns and tapped in.
Joe Greener added another at 6.40 and the same man had the simplest of finishes in front of the net at 12.01, leaving the hosts with a mammoth task.
However, a Swindon time out seemed to work wonders. Skipper Aaron Nell led the fightback on the powerplay (12.35) before Matias Perkkio squeezed home from a narrow angle (13.55).
Stevie Whitfield was harshly binned for slashing but that did not stop Nell bombing forward, and he bamboozled Stevie Lyle in the Bison net (17.05).
The Wildcats captain then completed a superb hat-trick in five minutes and 32 seconds at 18.07, sending his side in front for the first time.
A Doug Sheppard powerplay effort (22.15) and a Greg Owen strike (26.31) put the visitors back in front at the start of the second period, but Henri Sandvik picked out Perkkio in the slot to score at 29.56.
That was how it stayed until four minutes from the final buzzer, when Greg Chambers’ shot seemed to melt through Skinns’ glove and dribbled over the line.
On Saturday, Swindon were put to the sword by a rampant Milton Keynes outfit.
Wildcats' previous trip to the Thunderdome had yielded a thrilling 5-4 victory, but this time round the Lightning were in no mood for a repeat.
Swindon took the lead early on through Loris Taylor (2.29), only for Janne Jokila (9.20) and Adam Carr (19.09) to beat netminder Tom Murdy in reply.
Nicky Chinn (23.09) and Sam Bullas (24.38) netted at opposite ends to take the score to 3-2, but efforts from Kamil Tvrdek (34.22) and Grant McPherson (35.19) put MK 5-2 in front at the second break.
In period three, the onslaught was relentless. Blaz Emersic compiled a hat-trick in just over nine minutes (45.47, 50.44, 54.49), with a Leigh Jamieson goal coming in the middle (48.05).
The scoring was completed by Carr with his second of the night at 57.55.