SWINDON Wildcats produced a stunning comeback to win 4-2 at Guildford this evening, avenging their defeat at the Link Centre last night.
Just as they did in Wiltshire 24 hours previously, Cats slipped 2-0 during the second period but this time showed the clinical finishing they lacked on their own ice, as they turned things around in spectacular fashion.
Henri Sandvik got things start before Tomasz Malasinski and Lee Richardson gave the visitors a narrow advantage and, not content just to sit on their lead, they pushed for more on the powerplay as Aaron Nell thumped home the fourth which eventually maintained their unbeaten start on the road this season.
After an even opening five minutes the hosts took the lead as Jez Lundin fired in a speculative effort, which slipped through Stevie Lyle’s glove and into the top corner of his net.
Lyle responded with a good save from Bronnimann just a few minutes later, before Cats enjoyed a good spell of pressure as Nell, Sandvik, Ollie Betteridge, Shane Moore and Richardson all tested the home netminder Gregg Rockman.
The visitors had to finish the opening period with a man disadvantage as Kenton Smith was given 16 penalty minutes for checking and then butting, with Cats holding out for the six on-ice minutes which ended a minute into the second period.
However, just a few seconds later, Flames did find the breakthrough as Branislav Kvetan thumped past Lyle following assists from Matt Towe and Jozef Kohut.
Andrew McKinney fired another warning shot as his shot clipped Lyle’s pipe, before Cats failed to take advantage of two concurrent penalties on the hosts. However, just 10 seconds after Flames returned to full strength, Cats did find their goal.
Sandvik’s drive forward eventually took him round the back of Rockman’s net, where the Finn was able to slide the puck into the opposite corner before celebrating on one knee, letting out a roar which you could hear above a suddenly quiet home support.
Cats kept pushing and soon turned the home murmurs into silence as Malasinski converted as Rockman could only push Betteridge’s shot out to him, sending their own fans wild as Richardson rammed home from in front of the net as Malasinski teed him up.
The visitors were far from content with a one-goal advantage and, smelling blood with Ollie Bronnimann in the bin, Nell was able to slam a shot home from the left to make it 4-2, following assists from Harding and Sandvik.
Cats continued to push, with Sandvik and Kostal having shots saved, before the puck found its way into the net again but the goal was ruled out after the puck looped over the net and in off the backboard.
Flames huffed and puffed in search of a spark to get them back into the contest, but it never arrived as Cats took home the points.