GLENN Billing left Invicta Dynamos well and truly spooked as Swindon Wildcats triumphed 9-1 in the Hockey Halloween clash at the Link Centre this evening.
Despite seeing Stevie Whitfield’s goal cancelled out by Steve Osman within seconds, Cats were never really troubled as they swept aside their NIHL opponents to claim two vital cup points, in front of a crowd including ghosts, pumpkins and zombies on a night where the club celebrated Halloween.
Youngster Billing stole the show with four stunning goals while Jonas Hoog, cheered throughout on his return to the Link Centre, also found the net and laid on a goal for his long-time partner in crime Aaron Nell.
Ollie Betteridge and Jan Kostal also managed goals in the comfortable win, which saw a host of the club’s young players and back-up netminder Michael Crisp get some vital time on the ice.
After a scrappy opening few minutes Cats seemingly took control as D-man Whitfield thundered through the entire Invicta side before lifting his shot into the net, with a generous assist going Lee Richardson’s way following the solo opener.
Cats were quickly spooked, however, as the visitors took less than 20 seconds to draw level as former Cat Osman was able to bundle past Stevie Lyle.
Hoog and Nell began to find their groove midway through the period, finding each other with ease, however it was another pairing, Kostal and Betteridge, who combined superbly to reassert Cats’ dominance as the Czech import was on hand to smash home his partner’s inspired pass.
Nell, Billing and Michael Stratford all had chances to extend the advantage, before Betteridge added number three before the first break with the Invicta player claiming high sticks.
The hosts killed a lingering penalty on Betteridge at the start of the second period before well and truly killing the contest with three more goals before the end of the session.
The first saw Nell and Hoog combine for the first goal of their renewed partnership, with Hoog superbly finding his British teammate to slam home, before Billing found the net with some good stick work to fool Douglas.
Hoog’s name rang out around the Link Centre as he slammed high into the net from Nell and Billing assists, as the trio combined for goal number six, which brought Michael Crisp’s introduction with Stevie Lyle’s work done.
Billing added his second from Nell’s pass within five minutes of the third period starting, as he found the top corner, before completing his personal treble by combining with Nell and Hoog once again.
There was still time for number four for Billing, as he combined again with Hoog to complete the scoring on a special night for the youngster.