Fourth overtime defeat of the season for luckless Swindon
10:41am Tuesday 30th October 2012 in Sport
IT WAS another poor weekend for the Swindon Wildcats as they fell to successive defeats against the Basingstoke Bison, writes George Royle.
The first of the double header was on home ice but the Cats failed to use that to their advantage. If it wasn’t for Swindon’s goalie Dean Skinns, Basingstoke could have put more in the scoreboard.
Swindon soon trailed to a goal by Chambers. Basingstoke continued to press in the second session and with two minutes gone Greg Owen lifted one skillfully past Skinns for a two-goal lead.
The Cats eased their way into the game and managed to cut the deficit to one midway through the second period as Jamie Hayes slotted a rebound home.
Their work was undone, though, just two minutes later, as Chambers grabbed his second of the game to make the score 3-1.
Despite being outplayed for the majority of the contest, the Cats were somehow still in the game going into the third period. Captain Aaron Nell gave the home side real hope when he fired a trademark wrister past Stevie Lyle to cut the Bison lead.
But the two points were sealed for Basingstoke when Owen bagged his second goal of the night with two minutes left to end the game at 4-2.
It was arguably the Cats' worst performance of the season so far. They struggled to find any momentum at all and looked vulnerable in defence.
On Sunday, they took on the Bison again, this time in Hampshire.
The Cats showed immediate improvement, creating early chances in an end-to-end first period that somehow ended goalless. Just 14 seconds into the second period, Swindon took a deserved lead through Lee Richardson. Basingstoke equalised a minute later through Miller, who caught Skinns sleeping.
The Cats then bagged two goals in five minutes midway through the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Nell finished stylishly past Lyle and Swede Jonas Hoog bagged one from in close. Swindon looked a different side from the previous day and they were building a lot of momentum.
Basingstoke rallied to apply plenty of pressure on Swindon throughout the third, and with five minutes remaining, Greg Owen scored to set up a tense finale. With just over a minute to go, the Bison agonisingly tied the game up at 3-3 to send the exhilarating game to overtime, in which Miller grabbed the home side's winner.
Swindon have headed to overtime four times already this season and have lost the game on each occasion. They are an outfit close to success – but are not quite there yet.