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Swindon Wildcats get the better of Sheffield again
WILDCATS notched up their second win over Sheffield in five days with a bruising 4-2 triumph at the Link Centre on Saturday.
Swindon had strolled to a 5-0 success on the road in midweek and strengthened their case for an EPL play-off place following this latest triumph.
Sheffield took the lead at 4.47 through new signing Lubomir Korhon, before Shane Moore floored Lloyd Gibson with a punch and both were sent to the box for roughing.
Aaron Nell sent home a wrist shot at 10.22 and then Jonas Hoog threw himself into his first-ever bout of on-ice fisticuffs when he stuck up for himself against Stuart Brittle.
The returning Nicky Watt showed both Moore and Hoog how it was done with a thorough dismantling of Lee Haywood at the start of period three, but then Danny Wood tapped the Steeldogs ahead from close range (25.47).
However, Swindon then took control inside a whirlwind six-minute period. Head coach Ryan Aldridge caught James Flavell off-guard to level matters (29.00) and then Hoog got in on the act himself.
Nell pinged in off the pipes as Hoog and Fojtik - the latter with his third assist of the night - played their parts.
Cats hung on following a goalless third period and they were once again indebted to netminder Dean Skinns, who saved nearly 95 per cent of shots on his goal in the game as a whole.
Head coach Aldridge said: “The first period was scrappy and I don’t think we played anywhere near as well as we did on Tuesday night.
“We had talked beforehand about not making mistakes being the key to the win on Tuesday and unfortunately we made one and were a goal down.
“We brought it back before going down 2-1 in the second, but we brought it back to 2-2 and then went 4-2 up very quickly.
“The fourth goal was the nail in the coffin for them.
“The third period kind of became boring for the fans, but we just wanted to make sure we won the hockey game by keeping it very simple.
“The boys are treating the last few days as a four-point weekend.”
Aldridge believes his team still have what it takes to sneak into the top half of the standings before the end of the season, but says the injury situation will have to improve if that is to happen.
“I think we still have to be aiming for that, we have to keep going,” he said.
“Our luck hasn’t been in with injuries so far this season, so the Christmas break will be very welcoming for the guys’ bodies.
“There’s a few guys still out injured and a few with niggles that need rest.
“Hopefully we will come out the other side of it stronger and then anything can happen.”