ICE HOCKEY: Wildcats owe double header win to minder Lyle
9:01am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Sport
AFTER picking up two wins at the weekend, the new-look Swindon Wildcats have made a solid start to the 2013/14 campaign, writes George Royle.
They currently sit third in the league with six wins from their opening ten games.
A decent crowd was packed into the newly-named Swindon Ice Arena on Saturday night for the game against the Bracknell Bees.
The visitors got on the scoreboard first through Lukas Smital, but the home side responded just a few minutes later when the impressive Henri Sandvik fired home from close range.
That would turn out to be Sandvik's last impact on the game, though, as he was given a match ban for high sticking.
The Bees scored just before the first period concluded to take a 2-1 lead into the locker rooms.
Swindon rallied to play some good hockey in the middle frame, and they were rewarded with three goals in just over a minute. Jonas Hoog, Juha Silvander and Sam Smith all got on the scoresheet to swing the momentum firmly in their favour.
Bracknell would not lie down and admit defeat, however, as they edged their way back into the game, eventually tying the scores at 4-4 in the third period.
With ten minutes remaining, Swedish import Hoog bagged his second goal of the night, giving the home side victory and a well deserved two points.
Sunday night was the return leg at The Hive in Bracknell.
The Cats played possibly their worst game of the season so far yet managed to emerge winners after penalty shots.
Sam Smith took the game to overtime after scoring for the Wiltshire side with just 30 seconds remaining.
Off-season goalie recruit Stevie Lyle stopped a phenomenal 50 shots in open play and then saved both of Bracknell’s penalty shots. He grabbed the man of the match award in a massive 2-1 victory.
Yet another double-header looms for the Cats this weekend, as they face the Milton Keynes Lightning at Swindon Ice Arena on Saturday before travelling to Buckinghamshire on Sunday. A successful weekend could see the Cats move up to second in the table.
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