ICE HOCKEY: Wildcats begin to show play-off winning form
Updated 12:11pm Tuesday 11th March 2014 in Sport
THE Swindon Wildcats enjoyed their best weekend of the season, beating two of the league's best sides away from home, and recording four crucial points, writes George Royle.
A great piece of play from Jonas Hoog set up fellow import Henri Sandvik to give the Wildcats an early lead in Basingstoke on Saturday night.
The second period was entertaining and the Bison equalised through a fierce shot from Mirsolav Vantroba. Swindon didn't let the home side's goal effect them, however, as Finnish forward Sandvik posted his second of the night, this time on the powerplay.
Floyd Taylor, the promising young Brit, doubled the Cats lead, but Basingstoke ensured they went into the final period still in the game as Vantroba scored a goal similar to his first.
The impressive Wildcats sealed a deserved victory with two goals inside three minutes. Jan Kostal slotted home from close range before Sandvik netted his hat-trick.
Swindon carried their momentum into Sunday's fixture with the Milton Keynes Lightning played in Coventry.
Aaron Nell scored twice in the first frame to give his side a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of action. The scoreline didn't reflect the game, though, as Stevie Lyle had to work hard throughout the period to ensure the puck stayed out of his net.
Midway through the game, Hoog gave the visitors a three-goal cushion. With the defensive unit tightening up during the second period, all the Cats needed to do was play smart hockey for the win.
Welshman Lyle had a lot of rubber fired his way in the final period, but he was in fine form to record his first shut-out of the campaign.
Two wins away from home against two very good teams shows that the Wildcats aren't a team to underestimate in the run-in.
If Aldridge's side can finish their remaining few games in similar style, I wouldn't be surprised to see them go all the way and be victorious in the play-offs.
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