SWINDON Wildcats head coach Ryan Aldridge admitted that a two-minute slump at the end of the first period cost his team a point or better in Peterborough last night.
Wildcats went into the first break 3-0 down to the strugglers with those goals coming in quick succession and despite a brave fightback, Swindon were sunk 4-3 in the EPL clash after a late winner by James Ferrara.
"We lost the game in two minutes of that first period. That was definitely what killed the game," said Aldridge.
"If that had been the situation last year or two years ago, it would have been a whitewash but we showed character to bring it back to 3-3.
"We knew that their powerplay was good and we needed to stay off the PK (penalty kill), but we took a penalty late on and they scored from it.
"I think we deserved a point after coming back to 3-3.
"We've been on such a high for the last few weeks but this weekend is a big low for us. It's about how we regroup now and how we handle the lows."
Peterborough exploded into action from the face-off with the shots quickly raining in on Stevie Lyle's goal.
Missing skipper Shane Moore due to an eye complaint sustained in the defeat to Guildford on Saturday night, Wildcats survived early powerplays but were repeatedly off-colour in the attacking zone, with Jonas Hoog having their only effort of note as Peterborough controlled the game.
It was no surprise when the home team took the lead at 17.17 when Erik Piatak pulled back for Ferrara to beat Lyle five-hole, and matters swiftly went from bad to worse.
Lively blueliner Marcel Petran bombed in off the right wing and after his shot was saved, Darius Pliskauskas steamed in to finish (18.58).
The ex-Slough forward added his second from Danny Wood just eight seconds later to leave Aldridge's men shell-shocked.
Wildcats showed more fight in the second period but they blew early chances on the powerplay when Jozef Sladok and Marcel Petran were called back-to-back.
Goaltender Damien King produced a big save from Smith's one-timer that he had only a second to unleash, before Henri Sandvik finally got the visitors off and running at 28.56.
Finn Aku Pekkarinen's good work allowed his fellow countryman to scramble into the net from all of 12 inches to get Swindon back in it.
That was how it stayed until 46.21, as Hoog gave Swindon renewed hope in locating the narrowest of paths through a mass of bodies to beat the screened King.
And less than four minutes later Ryan Watt forced into the net to level the game following good work by Sandvik (50.08).
A penalty cost Swindon dear in the closing stages with Peterborough getting the game-winner after Alex Symonds was called for cross-checking.
D-men Stevie Whitfield and Sam Godfrey were battling away despite being on the deck, but with four seconds left of the powerplay, Ferrara manoeuvred round them and beat Lyle (55.28).