SWINDON have the opportunity to turn the screw on EPL play-off rivals Peterborough when the teams clash at the Link Centre on Boxing Day (4pm).
Wildcats currently occupy seventh place in the standings and can open up a six-point gap on Jon Kynaston’s troops if they secure victory on home ice.
Added spice is given to the fixture by the teams’ head-to-head record this season, with the Phantoms having won all three games by a single goal.
Two of those victories were in overtime with the most memorable clash being on November 11, which saw the Cambridgeshire outfit score in the final second of the 60 minutes before winning 4-3 in overtime.
Wildcats D-man Jan Melichar knows that victory on Boxing Day could deal a psychological blow to the Phantoms and at the same time bolster his own team’s play-off chase.
He said: “We can open up a little bit of a gap if we win, so it’s a big game for us.
“We’ve played them three times and lost by a goal each time, but we have to make sure we start winning those games against these sort of teams.
“We can do it, it’s just a matter of focusing for 60 minutes, and when we do that we can beat any team in the league.”
By the time Boxing Day comes round, Wildcats will have only played one game in 18 days, and Melichar reckons this will have helped his teammates recover from their bumps and bruises.
“We’ve had a little break so some of the boys have taken the chance to recharge and heal all their knocks,” he said.
“I’m sure that will allow everyone to come back strong for the game on Boxing Day.
“I’ve been skating with the Okanagan Academy so that’s given me the chance to get out on the ice.
“I didn’t really want a big break from skating.
“It’s good to have time to heal up, but at the other end you don’t want to leave it too long before you start skating again.”