FORWARD Sam Bullas knows Swindon Wildcats cannot afford to let goal-scoring chances pass them by as they look to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with early in the new season.

Swindon had a staggering 107 shots across their opening weekend of fixtures in NIHL South One but managed to hit the back of the net just five times in total.

That lack of a cutting edge proved their downfall at Invicta Dynamos last Sunday, where they were beaten 3-2 in overtime, having needed a penalty shoot-out to see off Milton Keynes Thunder at home 24 hours earlier following a 3-3 draw at the Link Centre.

Aaron Nell’s side turn their attentions away from the league to the NIHL Cup this weekend as they host Basingstoke Bison on Saturday (face-off 6.15pm) before travelling to take on Telford Tigers the following day (6pm).

Forward Bullas, who has been appointed as an alternate captain for the Cats this term, has urged his colleagues to finish off the chances that come their way, otherwise it could come back to haunt them.

“We have got to be more clinical, you can’t dominate and not score.

“The whole point of the game is score as if you don’t, you can end up losing games even if you dominate,” said Bullas, who found the target in both home and away fixtures last weekend.

“We have got to bear down on our shots, we have got to shoot the puck as hard as we can and we have got to get guys to the net.

“I think we really struggled with that but when we did get someone to the net, we ended up scoring.

“If the goalie is a big lad then we have to get people in front of him.

“It doesn’t matter how big you are, if the goalie can’t see the puck then he can’t save it.

“Sometimes when you can’t score, you just have to shoot as hard as you can rather than trying to be a bit fancy.”

Bullas took some consolation from the fact the Cats were able to beat Thunder in their season opener despite not being at their best on Saturday, with the team also picking up a point in defeat when going down against Dynamos 24 hours later.

However, the 27-year-old says there is no excuse for Swindon not being at the top of their game again soon.

“That’s how teams win championships and trophies, winning even if you are having a bad night. Good teams find a way to win,” said Bullas.

“We have to make sure we keep learning, don’t take anyone for granted and go into every game and play how we should.

“It will take a little while for everyone to click together but most of us have played together before.

“There are no excuses out there, it doesn’t matter if you are not gelling, you have just got to grind it out and work harder.”