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SWINDON WILDCATS: Pekkarinen strikes twice to help gun down Jets
BLUELINER Aku Pekkarinen struck twice on his debut as Swindon Wildcats earned a 4-2 victory at home to Slough in their opening challenge match of 2013/14.
Pekkarinen’s fellow Finn Henri Sandvik and head coach Ryan Aldridge also registered with Dan Davies and Darius Pliskauskas scoring for the visitors.
The first period was characterised more by penalties than by meaningful attempts on goal, but Slough were made to work harder due to their indiscipline.
Swindon lost defenceman Sam Godfrey initially but that swiftly turned into a two-man advantage after Ciaran Long and Tomas Fojtik were both sent to the penalty box within a matter of seconds.
A Sandvik wristshot was the best effort the hosts could muster in the next few minutes and the Jets improved after that, with Ryan Watt firing wide when well-placed.
As the period drew to a close, Long seemed to lose his focus when his high-sticks challenge on home skipper Shane Moore was punished with a five-minute powerplay and a game penalty.
Slough survived the two minutes before the first break, but they did not last long in the second.
Sam Smith delivered the puck into the dangerzone and via Sandvik, the puck arrived at the feet of Aldridge, the head coach stabbing past Gregg Rockman (21.14) to put his side ahead.
Moments later Godfrey and Aldridge were sent to the penalty box and Davies replied (23.31), before laying on the assist from which Darius Pliskauskas converted (25.51).
It was not long before Swindon bit back with a fourth goal in seven minutes, Pekkarinen grabbing his first for the Link Centre club unassisted (28.14).
And then the Finn took advantage of yet another powerplay at 35.52, this time from Jonas Hoog’s pass, to restore the Wildcats lead.
Slough pushed for the equaliser at the start of the third period but were caught out at 43.38 when Sandvik directed into the net from Adam Harding and Aldridge.
That was how it stayed until the final buzzer and Wildcats will go into this weekend’s double-header against Telford in positive spirits.
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