SWINDON WILDCATS defence man Shane Moore remains confident that, with just eight games remaining in the regular season, the Wildcats can still climb a few places up the league – and then win the play-offs.
“I think we can push as far up as fourth place,” said Moore.
“The top three are pretty much set now but after that it is still very tight.
“We have a great team and we are playing some good hockey right now. I would like to see us finish in the top half.”
The Wildcats picked up a decent victory at home against the Telford Tigers on Saturday but fell to the Manchester Phoenix a day later, as they enter the final stages of the season.
Telford have strengthened their squad considerably in recent weeks, and that showed after a goalless first period.
Swindon opened the scoring in the second period through the ever- reliable Jonas Hoog, but two late goals for the Tigers gave them a 2-1 lead going into the final frame of hockey.
The third period proved phenomenal, with six goals scored.
The Cats bagged four within a prolfic ten-minute spell, through Matias Perkkio (2), Ollie Betteridge and Aaron Nell.
The Tigers piled on the pressure late on and hit two more goals, but Swindon held out for a thrilling 5-4 win.
On Sunday, Swindon made the long trip to Manchester to take on the Phoenix. They put up a brave fight but fell 6-3. The Cats goals came from Perkkio, Betteridge and Nell.
The Wildcats still don’t know who their opponents will be in the first round of the play-offs, but Swindon-born Moore feels his team can beat anyone put in front of them.
“I think every team in the league this year is capable of beating each other on any given day,” he said.
“Consistency is the key to winning the league but in the first round of play-offs it is all about one weekend, and which team plays the best over six periods.” In the Wildcats’ victory over the Tigers, key import Henri Sandvik was forced to leave the ice for treatment after being hit on the hand by the puck.
Speaking of injuries this term, Moore said: “The team has altered a lot throughout the season and I think we have adapted well.
“But this is hockey and every team will be suffering the same. It’s a high-impact sport and you must expect injuries.
“I think we all know and believe that we can win the play-offs. It will boil down to a back-to-back weekend and two single games. If we hit the play-offs in good form, I firmly believe we can win and all the boys share the same passion.”