PAUL Swindlehurst feels the key to snatching an EPL point at Manchester on Sunday was that Swindon’s big names came to the fore.
Wildcats trailed 4-0 at Altrincham Ice Dome early in the second period, and with prior injury problems causing a major forward shortage, the visitors looked as if they were chasing a lost cause.
However, a hat-trick from Michal Kapicka and a goal for Chris Jones ensured that Swindon took the game to overtime, and although they ultimately were defeated, a point was a terrific effort after being up against it previously.
And defenceman Swindlehurst praised a number of players, including head coach Ryan Aldridge, for their role in rescuing a result.
He said: “I think the key players in the dressing room, the captain (Aaron Nell), the assistants (Joe Baird and Shane Moore) and the big names all showed up in that last 50 minutes of hockey.
“Michal (Kapicka) got three goals, Hoogy (Jonas Hoog) got a point, Aaron played well, and we also had Moorsy back and it just adds that little bit more depth to the team.
“I think Ryan did really well considering he’s not played for a couple of weeks, and that brought another side of the game to us that made us a bit more physical and a bit more determined. I think he inspired us a little bit more to do well.”
The magnitude of the turnaround has convinced the giant 19-year-old that Swindon have what it takes to compete with the best teams in the EPL, particularly now that injury absentees such as Matias Perkkio and netminder Tom Murdy are not far off fitness.
He said: “We can push on and become better as a unit and not have injuries here and there. We know that we can come close to beating these teams or actually beat them.
“There are easier games than against the likes of Basingstoke, Guildford or Milton Keynes, but to compete against Manchester, especially coming from 4-0 down, is a hell of an achievement with bodies out.
“We need to learn to play for 60 minutes, when we played for 40 minutes on Sunday we dominated.”