ICE HOCKEY: Wildcats makes leaders Guildford look average

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Henry Sandvik Swindon Wildcats (2332530) Henry Sandvik Swindon Wildcats (2332530)

DESPITE losing to the Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday night, the Swindon Wildcats maintained their good run of form with a convincing win over league leaders Guildford at Swindon Ice Arena 24 hours later, writes George Royle.

As Milton Keynes are currently having their rink refurbished, the Saturday game was played at Coventry.

It turned out to be an even encounter with no goals in the first frame thanks to both goalies making some decent saves.

The Lightning got on the scoreboard midway through the second stanza, as GB international Leigh Jamieson notched his 13th of the campaign. They then doubled their lead as Slovenian Blaz Emersic fired a powerful shot high past Stevie Lyle.

Cats coach Ryan Aldridge called a time-out which seemed to do the trick as Aaron Nell fired a slapshot home with five minutes remaining in the second session.

Swindon battled hard in the final period but couldn't find a breakthrough. The Lightning then sealed a 3-1 win when Emersic fired home into an empty net.

Sunday night saw a cracking opening frame back in Wiltshire, as Swindon played some of their best hockey of the season so far to score four past Guildford.

After Nell blasted home two and Henri Sandvik skilfully scored his first, Guildford decided to change their netminder after just 11 minutes of play.

Dean Holland scored for the Flames to keep them in the game, but Swindon had a commanding 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of action.

Halfway through the second period, defence man Alex Symonds scored on the powerplay to put the Cats in a very strong position.

The final period petered out with Guildford scoring a late consolation goal to make it 5-2.

The Wildcats had made the best team in the league look average – a great achievement.

It is crucial they keep playing the way they are to gain a decent seeded play-off place.

Two winnable games are on offer this weekend. The Wildcats face Peterborough at the Swindon Ice Arena on Saturday before travelling to Bracknell of Sunday to take on the Bees.

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