Wildcats victory over Leeds Knights

By Barrie Hudson - 11 January 2022

Sport

The Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats took to the ice against the Leeds Knights and Peterborough Phantoms.

However, it was a mixed weekend of results for Aaron Nell and his team.

On Saturday the Wildcats defeated the Knights 4-1 before losing in Peterborough by a 5-0 scoreline on Sunday night.

A spokesperson said: "At the Link Centre on Saturday we welcomed back seven first-team players from covid protocol and injury as Dave Whistle and the Knights rolled into town. Early in the opening period, it would be Wildcats Player Coach Aaron Nell who scored his first goal of the evening, high above the blocker of Sam Gospel in the Leeds goal.

"Later in the period, the coach doubled his tally for the game when some poor defending at the back allowed him to pounce on a turnover and fire off the bottom of the crossbar to make it 2-0 at 07:26."

At 12:31 the visitors got a goal back, one which would be their only tally in the game, when Ben Solder was able to deflect a puck past Dean Skinns in the Wildcats goal to make it 2-1 going into the first-period break.

The second period would be one of the saves, with both Skinns and Gospel ensuring the game would stay at the same scoreline for another 20 minutes with 12 and 15 saves respectively.

The spokesperson said: "In the third period, the Wildcats would save it until late but would add another two goals. At 50:59, Aaron Nell completed his hat-trick after some superb forechecking from line-mate Tomasz Malasinski. The latter broke the play up behind the net which allowed Nell to sneak to one side of the net whilst the Knights were all looking the other way, and he shovelled the puck into a near-empty net to make it 3-1.

"Nell hadn’t finished scoring there and at 59:33 he added his and his team fourth through and empty-net goal from just inside the blue-line, giving the Cats an important 2 points and returning them to the top of the league table, albeit just for one evening."

On Sunday the team made the journey to Peterborough and despite out-shooting the Phantoms 41-28, they fell 5-0 to Slava Koulikov’s side. 

The Phantoms started strongly and were on the board at 03:25 when Joe Gretton tipped a shot from Ross Clarke to open the scoring. Later in the opening period, it was 2-0 when Duncan Speirs fired home from the high slot over the glove of Skinns in the Swindon goal. 

The onslaught continued early in the middle period when Will Weldon was first to react on a rebound at 22:24 to give the home side a very commanding lead.

At 47:47 it was 4-0, Nathan Pollard found some room on the right-wing, cut inside and fired past Skinns as the game was well and truly out of sight. The Wildcats were generating scoring opportunities, as they had all evening, but couldn’t find a way past Jordan Marr who secured a 41 save shutout.

Late in the third period, Glenn Billing tried his luck from a very tight angle and the puck squeezed between Skinns and his post to complete the big win for the Phantoms.

This weekend the Wildcats take on the Sheffield Steeldogs in a home & home double-header. 

 

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