SWINDON WILDCATS: Aldridge bemoans second-period collapse
RYAN Aldridge lamented his team’s inability to maintain their concentration for a full 60 minutes after a second-period meltdown sent Swindon Wildcats on their way to a 6-1 defeat at Guildford Flames last night.
Twenty-four hours after slipping up 4-0 at home to Manchester Phoenix, Aldridge was disappointed with Cats’ application at times during the contest at the Spectrum, as Flames were allowed to walk in five unanswered goals in a brutal second spell on the ice.
The Swindon head coach, who included himself in his criticism, urged his side to keep their focus at all times if they are to seriously test the better teams in the English Premier League.
“Last night I don’t think we worked hard enough, I don’t think we gave enough – every single one of us, all night. We didn’t pull our weight and didn’t turn up ready to play and it cost us,” he told the Advertiser.
“We’ve been struggling to play a full 60 minutes all year and tonight we probably played 50. We gave up in that 10 minutes and it cost us heavily again.
“We were right in the game and the first goal was a lucky bounce. We had a lot of bad luck tonight, as well. The first goal was a lucky bounce which Stevie said took a couple of deflections and the third goal was a backbreaker.
“I don’t think it should have been a goal, we think it should have been waved off and even the referee has come in and apologised to us since then but that’s the backbreaker. It was tough to come back from that.
“All the power to the referee for coming to do that, it’s not an easy thing to do and I respect him for doing it but it’s pretty tough after the game to take.”
Tom Duggan netted the only goal of the opening period last night, as Cats held their own until the first break, but a dismal 10-minute spell in the second was the visitors’ undoing.
Former Swindon forward Josef Kohut fired Flames’ second less than a minute after the resumption before Ben Campbell waltzed the whole way through the Wildcats’ defence to add a third.
Andy Hemmings bagged the fourth on 31.05, the hosts’ fifth came courtesy of Rick Plant three minutes later and when Plant registered again on 38.19 the travelling fans were fearing double figures.
However, a much improved performance in the third period brought the Cats a consolation goal from Aku Pekkarinen, and for long periods the away side really tested their high-flying hosts.
“We got outmuscled in certain areas. For one of the goals we were just flat through the neutral zone and let Campbell skate through us,” said Aldridge.
“We’re talking about being focused and being engaged at every shift and we obviously took those 10-minute shifts off and again it’s cost us.
“I should have had two goals in the third period and there were lots of positives to take from it. We won the period for starters and we had lots of chances as well.
“Even to have 39 shots in this building is quite good for us. There are a few positives for us to take from it but we have to be mentally prepared for 60 minutes and not 50.”
On Saturday night, goals from Tony Hand, Michael Psurny, Robert Schnabel and Frantisek Bakrlik handed Manchester their victory at the Link Centre.
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