Aldridge's men maintain fine form despite losing to the champions

THE Swindon Wildcats maintained their fine pre-festive season form by easily seeing off the Peterborough Phantoms 7-2 on Boxing Day, writes George Royle.

It was a crucial game for both sides as Swindon sat just four points ahead of the Phantoms in the table before the puck was dropped.

The Cats went straight on the offensive, player/coach Ryan Aldridge scrambling the puck home in the first minute.

After a Jozef Sladok equaliser with four minutes gone, the formidable partnership of Jonas Hoog and Aaron Nell combined to edge the Cats in front. A rare Loris Taylor goal for Swindon gave them a 3-2 lead at the end of an entertaining first period.

Two skilful goals from captain Nell pushed the Cats into a decent lead and they seemed to be in cruise control during the second period. A late goal from Lewis Hook gave the Phantoms hope when taking the score to 5-3 with a period to play.

A quiet opening 15 minutes in the final session led to five minutes of mayhem. Slovak Sladok lost his head and ended up scuffling with several Wildcat players. He was discipilined with ten minutes for checking from behind, a further four minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for abuse to officials.

Swindon capitalised on the Phantoms being without their 6ft 5in defenceman by bagging two late goals through Hoog and Nell. A great result.

The Wildcats’ attempt to Increase their winning streak to five was scuppered when the reigning champions Guildford Flames visited on Friday night.

The Wildcats’ home support erupted early when Matias Perkkio continued his good run of form, the 23-year-old finding a hole in Mark Lee's defences. Great Britain captain David Longstaff responded for the visitors at the end of the first frame.

A thrilling second period consisting of seven goals. Swindon started sloppily to concede two in as many minutes. After a time-out, Aaron Nell hit straight back for the hosts to make the score to 3-2, but Guildford were to score three more through Paul Dixon, Andrew Sharp and Nathan Rempel as they led 6-2. Perkkio netted late in the second period to take the score to 6-3.

The awesome Perkkio completed a fine hat-trick early in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as the score ended 7-5 to the Flames.

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