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ICE HOCKEY: Bullas expects play-off date with Manchester
SAM Bullas is expecting Wildcats to come up against Manchester in the EPL play-off quarter-finals, but the Nottingham-born forward insists Swindon have ‘a fantastic chance’ to progress, whoever they face.
Manchester seem the most likely bet to finish third in the standings, and if Swindon stay ahead of Bracknell in sixth following this weekend’s final two games, they could well meet the Phoenix in the last eight.
Bullas, an industrious figure throughout the 2012/13 campaign, is unconcerned who his team take on once the knockout stages arrive, saying their best is a match for any side in the league.
“I don’t really like to speculate (on who Swindon will face), I don’t mind, anyone really,” he said.
“I think it’s working out that we’ll have Manchester and I love to play Manchester, but we’ll have to wait and see.
“At times that we really turn it on against the better teams and sometimes we struggle against the lower-end teams. I think that’s team motivation and team determination to beat the better teams.
“But if we play like we can and how we did (against Guildford) for two periods, we’ll have a fantastic chance against anyone in the league.”
Bullas is hoping that with games against Guildford and Basingstoke to come this weekend, Swindon have turned the corner and are ready for the end-of-season showpiece.
He said: “Every year we do well in the play-offs, we all come together and the Guildford result (when Wildcats narrowly lost 5-4 after penalty shots on Sunday) should be a turning point to really start finding our stride a little bit better.
“If we can get next weekend out of the way, get some nice wins on the board and get some momentum, we’ll fly in the play-offs.”
Meanwhile, Swindon will hold their end-of-season presentation evening at the De Vere on Monday (7.30pm).
All supporters are welcome and tickets priced £12 for adults and £6 for children will be available at Saturday’s home game against Guildford.
Fans can vote for the following awards: Supporters’ Player of the Year, Best Forward and Best Defenceman.
Head coach Ryan Aldridge selects the Most Improved Player and Coach’s Player of the Year and the current squad choose Players’ Player of the Year.
There is also the Dave Richardson Award for the best British forward.