LiveICE HOCKEY LIVE: Sheffield Steeldogs v Swindon Wildcats

First published in Ice Hockey

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Summary

  • Sheffield 3-5 Wildcats
  • Swindon win first of two weekend away games
  • First match since Nicky Watt announced intention to leave
  • Reporting by NED PAYNE

9:48pm

Game over. They were made to battle hard but Swindon got there in the end.

9:47pm

GOAL! (Steeldogs 3, Wildcats 5, 59.58)

With Flavell pulled, the puck is won by Swindon from the face-off and of all people, Jan Melichar shoots in off the post from the defensive blue-line.

9:45pm

Goalie pulled.

9:43pm

Ben Morgan's shot deflects over with nine seconds left. Was that the last chance? Dogs call a time out.

9:42pm

39 seconds left.

9:41pm

Gomeniuk goes off for a third time, on this occasion for hooking.

9:40pm

Skinns saves well with the pad.

9:38pm

Penalty killed. Three minutes left.

9:36pm

Fojtik storms forward but runs into a stubborn Flavell.

9:34pm

Cats call a time out. Just under five minutes left.

9:34pm

Gomeniuk binned for two minutes for roughing.

9:34pm

Penalty killed.

9:32pm

Watt loses his footing, gets back up and goes flying in to prevent a clean shot. It works. Great stuff.

9:30pm

Powerplay Sheffield. Cats had too many men.

9:28pm

Nell has his shot stopped by the left glove of Flavell. Decent save.

9:27pm

This game still very much on a knife edge.

9:25pm

Penalty killed by Cats.

9:23pm

Two minutes for Shane Moore for interference.

9:20pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 3, Wildcats 4, 46.25)

The penalty is killed, but a matter of seconds later, Watt retrieves the puck after Perkkio's shot was blocked and he lays on the assist for the recently-returned Hoog to restore the away lead from close range.

9:19pm

Patient play but the end result is that Nell's drive is easily saved.

9:19pm

Hoog has just returned.

9:18pm

Loris Taylor is sent sprawling by the boards. Gomeniuk gets two minutes for tripping.

9:15pm

Nervy start from Cats.

9:12pm

Period three has started.

9:02pm

Well, it's fair to say that second period didn't go to plan.

8:52pm

That is the end of period two, and we have a game that could go either way here.

8:50pm

Sprawling save by Skinns from Korhon. Great stuff.

8:49pm

Hoog will be back out a few minutes into period three.

8:47pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 3, Wildcats 3, 35.20)

Well, we've been here before this season. Cats have surrendered a two-goal lead. Danny Wood was bearing down on goal and although Skinns blocked his shot, Korhon was steaming in and applied the finishing touch.

8:41pm

Bizarrely, Hoog has just gone into the box for misconduct. That will be 10 minutes. Not entirely sure what happened there but the decision was made before the face-off after his shot was deflected to safety.

8:39pm

Hoog's shot is blocked and the Swede goes sprawling. That was not the plan.

8:37pm

And just as I say that, Sheffield player-coach Andre Payette goes into the bin for hooking!

8:36pm

Still not a single penalty served with more than half the game gone.

8:36pm

Fojtik charges forward, round the net and eventually shoots, but there's no joy for the towering defenceman.

8:32pm

Apart from the goal, not much has happened in the opening eight minutes of the second period.

8:30pm

Don't forget to comment on the game in the comments section below or on Twitter, using #swindonwildcats. The best comments will be reprinted in this live blog.

8:28pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 2, Wildcats 3, 23.35)

Far too easy. Pavel Gomeniuk picked up possession on the blue-line, skated in a straight line and shot low across Skinns and into the left corner. Game on. Assist from Korhon.

8:22pm

Shots on goal were nine apiece in the first period, by the way.

8:22pm

Underway.

8:19pm

We are just over a minute away from resuming action...

8:19pm

Good first period from the Cats, who recovered superbly after going behind early on. 'More of the same' will most likely be the message in the locker room, I would suspect.

8:07pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 1, Wildcats 3, 18.59)

And just as I say that, a brilliant breakout goal. Cats break three-on-one and Hoog slips the puck to Nell, just out of reach of the covering defenceman, and the skipper passes across for Perkkio to direct into the net with ease. Very well-worked goal. Great hockey.

8:03pm

Quiet ending to the first 20 minutes after that explosive opening.

7:58pm

Just under five minutes left in period one.

7:57pm

Hirst tries to find a way round Skinns, who simply lies in the way and forces him round the net. Inspired.

7:50pm

Sheffield's (unnamed on his shirt) number 11, better known as Danny Wood, pings off the bar. A let-off for the visitors.

7:50pm

Phew. Frantic opening.

7:50pm

Great one-on-one chance for Hoog, but he is denied by Flavell.

7:47pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 1, Wildcats 2, 5.14)

What a turnaround! Hoog pokes the puck to Tomas Fojtik as he loses his feet, and the Czech D-man perfectly picks out the marked Nell on the diagonal at the back post for a simple tap-in.

7:46pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 1, Wildcats 1, 2.35)

A virtual carbon copy but this time at the other end. This time it's Watt that profits as James Flavell cannot hold his shot. Unassisted.

7:41pm

GOAL! (Sheffield 1, Wildcats 0, 2.20)

The early lead goes to the Steeldogs. Dean Skinns looked like he had the puck covered from Andrew Hirst's close range shot but the same man followed up to find a gap past the netminder. Assists Danny Wood and Lubomir Korhon.

7:37pm

7:37pm

And we're off.

7:35pm

National anthem time.

7:32pm

On come the lights! And the players are introduced.

7:32pm

Here are the Steeldogs, also skating in blackness.

7:31pm

Now the bizarre spectacle of the away side being plunged into complete darkness.

7:29pm

Out come the Cats.

7:28pm

7:28pm

SAM BULLAS ON THE 'BONDED' WILDCATS

Everyone struggles at the start of the year with bonding with linemates, but we’ve really come into our own now.

We’ve found where we want to be and we’re starting to play like we should.

At the start of the year you have new players in but we’re through Christmas now and we’re more than bonded.

It’s nice to get all your players in, get settled and used to each other because everyone is different.

7:27pm

Minutes away from face-off now...

7:25pm

NICKY WATT ON HIS IMMINENT DEPARTURE FROM WILDCATS

Firstly I would like to take this chance to thank Ryan (Aldridge, head coach) for his understanding throughout this situation.

It was a very difficult decision for me to make and one that was made with a very heavy heart.

Aldy has been extremely professional and understanding and I can’t thank him enough for that.

I’ve chosen to move on for several reasons which I will leave between myself and Aldy and I hope that the fans respect that.

But I’m leaving on good terms and feel that Swindon have an ever-improving organisation which is one of the most professional in the EPL.

7:21pm

Don't forget to get involved this evening by leaving comments below and using #swindonwildcats on Twitter. Alternatively tweet me on @nedpayne1. We want to hear from you!

7:19pm

 

A number of Cats fans who tweeted me this morning were disappointed by Nicky Watt's decision, which I guess is a nice compliment for him to go out on. His final game for the club will be against Bracknell a week tomorrow.

7:16pm

The last time I was here, Jonas Hoog was repeatedly referred to as Jonas Hog. I hope the announcer has done his homework for tonight.

7:15pm

The players have cleared the ice. Apologies for the delay, some gremlins in the system with regards to uploading pictures. Not my day on that front I'm afraid. We will soldier on.

7:06pm

The last time Swindon played here, at the beginning of December, they smashed the Steeldogs 5-0 but Lee Richardson picked up a nasty knee injury. He is still missing tonight as is fellow long-term absentee Jamie Hayes.

7:04pm

Wildcats can extend their play-off points cushion over the ninth-placed Steeldogs to 10 points if they take victory this evening. Theoretically Ryan Aldridge's men could even move level on points with fifth-placed Slough, who host Bracknell at the Hangar tonight.

7:03pm

The players are out on the ice and warming up as we speak. A smidge under half an hour until face-off. American rawk ringing out around iceSheffield.

7:02pm

The players are out on the ice and warming up as we speak. A smidge under half an hour until face-off. American rawk ringing out around iceSheffield.

6:56pm

Missing your Link Centre ice hockey fix tonight? Have no fear. Stay tuned to this live blog for the next three hours and you will be fully updated as Wildcats aim for two points at Sheffield.

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