ICE HOCKEY LIVE: Sheffield Steeldogs v Swindon Wildcats
Updated 11:48am Monday 23rd December 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- Sheffield Steeldogs 1-2 Swindon Wildcats (result)
- Sheffield scorer: Ashley Calvert
- Wildcats scorers: Ryan Aldridge, Jan Kostal
- Depleted Wildcats secure two vital road points
- Swindon lost 4-2 at home to Manchester last night
- Tweet using #wildcatslive to get your comments on this liveblog or tweet @nedpayne1
- Reporting by NED PAYNE
Okie doke. That just about wraps it up for tonight but there will be a full report in the Swindon Advertiser tomorrow and plenty more throughout the week. That means not just the Wildcats but also GB Under-20s, who of course have Swindon trio Ollie Betteridge, Floyd Taylor and Sam Godfrey in their ranks as they take part in the World Under-20 Championship, which starts in Dumfries tomorrow.
Guildford 3 Basingstoke 4.
SWEDISH FORWARD JONAS HOOG DISCUSSES VICTORY OVER THE STEELDOGS
"It was a long road trip and we're in a bad situation right now so it good that we won.
"It was very important for all the guys that we gave a good performance tonight.
"It's two important points for us."
Next up, Hoog's version of events...
HEAD COACH RYAN ALDRIDGE ON TONIGHT'S WIN
"I think the key was not making any silly little mistakes. That goal late in the second period could have hurt us but we saw out the period and then had time to regroup.
"We knew we didn't have to score another goal to win the game in the third period, we just had to be smart and not do any high-risk plays on our powerplay.
"We played good, solid team defence."
Guildford currently level at 3-3 with Basingstoke.
Peterborough 3 Slough 5, Telford 5 Bracknell 6, Manchester 4 Milton Keynes 1.
Reaction coming up from head coach Ryan Aldridge and import forward Jonas Hoog.
Time to seek some reaction from the Wildcats camp...
Fair to say that result has gone down well then...
@nedpayne1 #wildcatslive great result guys— @thomasfarmer13 08 December 2013
Get in there @SwinWildcats 2 massive massive points. Let's kick start the season #wildcatslive— @slapshot6032 08 December 2013
Man of the match for Sheffield is Ben Morgan.
Boom! Nice one cats! Sheffield is no easy place to get 2 points! Sky was red over sheffield :-) @nedpayne1 #wildcatslive— @jackl86 08 December 2013
Man of the match for Swindon is Kostal.
Cats win 2-1.
There are 26 seconds left. Still Sedlar is pulled.
Aldridge sends the puck six inches past the post from the neutral zone. Drama.
Lyle saves well. Sedlar pulled.
Two. Minutes. Left.
Korhon speeds away on the right wing but his poked shot lacks power and Lyle saves with ease.
That's a gift from the Steeldogs.
Mariusz Jakubik called.
All about focus now.
Wildcats are killing time as best they can. There isn't much left of it, 4.34 to be exact.
Sheffield have lost their swagger of the first two periods. They look beaten.
How are your fingernails?
Seven minutes left now.
Hoog smashes a slapshot just wide of the left post when well-placed. Swindon seem in control but they are only a goal up and that advantage can be reversed in a matter of moments.
Smith's slalom nearly gets him a goal, but not quite. Still 2-1 to Cats.
Just under 11 minutes left.
No genuine chances.
Calvert called for tripping Stevie Whitfield.
Cats have 14 minutes to hang on.
A couple of big slapshots from Edgars Bebris zing past Lyle's post.
Loris Taylor is called.
I understand Cats skipper Shane Moore is not coming out for the third period due to concussion.
Gibson tests Lyle before Smith scoots away down the other end to try his luck against Sedlar. Both unsuccessful.
THIRD PERIOD UNDER WAY
The players are back out.
We're not far off now.
Well, I really have no idea what's coming in the third period. Playing defensively tends to invite pressure, but the rewards are great when you get it right. All Swindon have to do is draw the third 0-0. Sounds easy, no?
Around six minutes until we resume.
Feel free to air your thoughts using #wildcatslive
Peterborough 1 Slough 4, Telford 3 Bracknell 4, Manchester 2 Milton Keynes 1, Guildford 0 Basingstoke 1.
Honestly, the break comes at a good time for Swindon. The Steeldogs had the momentum.
END OF THE SECOND PERIOD
GOAL! Sheffield 1 Wildcats 2, 38.17
The puck is delivered across goal and after Lyle fails to hold on to the initial shot, Calvert is there to force the puck home from inches out. No one in this rink can say the Steeldogs don't deserve it. Goal cues a mass of teddies being thrown onto the ice (it's for charity).
Ben Morgan tries a desperate slapshot. Well-wide.
Three minutes left of the second.
Big save Lyle. Not sure how much he knew about it but he kept it out.
@nedpayne1 #wildcatslive cmon swindon we can win this— @thomasfarmer13 08 December 2013
GOAL! Sheffield 0 Wildcats 2, 32.23
Hoog is right in front of goal but his route is blocked, so he simply squares left to the unmarked Kostal, who sets himself and lashes low inside Sedlar's left post. More great work from the in-form Czech, but Hoog should take credit as well.
Kostal and Loris Taylor are two on one but each player leaves it for the other.
Goal!!!!!! Come on you Cats, exactly what we needed in the 2nd! Keep the pressure up & we can do this x #wildcatslive— @Faithangeljoy 08 December 2013
Nine minutes left of the second.
Sam Smith dives inside but his wristshot is gloved by Sedlar.
The hosts will feel mightily aggrieved at the current scoreline, I would suggest.
Boom. Well that makes things interesting.
GOAL! Sheffield 0 Wildcats 1, 24.25
It's against the run of play, but who cares? Aldridge picks up the puck in he offensive zone, loops clear of the static Sheffield D and smashes a low slapshot beyond Sedlar. A very basic goal and a gift, but Swindon won't worry about that.
Wristshot from Hoog bounces off Sedlar and the Swede can't quite reach the rebound through a mass of bodies.
Bullas tips just past the post from Ryan Watt's crease-bound delivery.
Plenty of pressure from Sheffield to start the second.
SECOND PERIOD UNDER WAY
Just to remind you, we will resume the second period with the Steeldogs on the powerplay.
And the players are back out... finally.
Big old intermission here at iceSheffield.
If Swindon could nick two points here, that would be a great job as we stand. Sheffield were lively and hungry in the first period. Swindon battled away but the concern is that a lack of manpower will come back to haunt them at some stage.
Telford have reduced Bracknell's advantage to 3-2, while Basingstoke are 1-0 up at Guildford in the one 6pm face-off.
The zamboni is just doing the usual smoothing job. The ice looks great from where I'm sitting.
We've had a kids' game for a few minutes and the main event will resume shortly.
Given that Peterborough trail, as we stand Swindon will remain in the top eight of the EPL.
Come on SWINDON !!! Shouting from the sofa tonight ..you may still be able to hear me !!! #loudandproud #wildcatslive— @Freckles2408 08 December 2013
Peterborough 0 Slough 1, Telford 1 Bracknell 3, Manchester 1 Milton Keynes 1.
Well it was a ripper of a first period, considering it was goalless. Sheffield were impressive and looked a danger when they got the puck into the offensive zone. Most good things went through Korhon, as you would expect.
Aldridge was called at 19.26 so Sheffield will begin the second period with 1.26 of a powerplay to go.
END OF THE FIRST PERIOD
Two minutes to go in the first.
Korhon's centre into the slot is a fraction too far ahead of Andrew Hirst. Millimetres from a tap-in.
Four minutes left in the first period.
Hoog and Aku Pekkarinen came closest. Hoog had a sort of slow motion wraparound effort and Pekkarinen tried a slapshot, which was wide.
Lee Haywood called for holding.
Loads of Sheffield pressure but no end product during that powerplay.
Sam Bullas sits for tripping.
Hoog tees up Aldridge who unleashes the slapper. Sedlar can't gather but the hosts get away with it.
Big hit Kostal on Ashley Calvert.
Swindon soaking up pressure then hitting their opponents on the rush. That's the pattern so far.
By the way, Andre Payette is not icing tonight.
Jan Kostal just over with a fizzer of a wristshot. He then sends an even better chance wide.
Six minutes gone.
Come on u cats lets pounce on them steeldogs watching from the sofa tonight less tense I hope @nedpayne1 #wildcatslive— @Jackgrey22 08 December 2013
Jonas Hoog skids the puck across goal and Ben Morgan almost puts into his own net, but somehow scrambles away at the last. This moments after Lloyd Gibson spurned a tremendous chance at the other end.
All Sheffield so far.
And Lyle swallows up a shot from Lubomir Korhon.
Steeldogs' Greg Wood flashes a wrister past the post moments in.
PERIOD ONE UNDER WAY
In the respective nets tonight are Stevie Lyle for Swindon and Dalibor Sedlar for Sheffield.
Players being introduced.
For what it's worth (not much), this evening's contest is an EPL-Cup game. Irrelevant really, given that the top four are decided and Swindon aren't in there and neither are Sheffield, but there you go. Thought I'd let you know.
Sheffield played out an absolute thriller with Bracknell at the Hive last night. Just the 15 goals, with the Bees securing an 8-7 victory in overtime and getting their winner through Shaun Thompson with 18 seconds left. What a game.
The players are back out on the ice.
Plenty of 5.30pm face-offs tonight and I shall keep you up to date with all of those scorelines as the evening progresses. All games but Guildford-Basingstoke start at 5.30pm.
Peterborough v Slough, Telford v Bracknell, Manchester v Milton Keynes, Guildford v Basingstoke.
Don't forget to vote in our poll at 5.13pm. Split right down the middle so far.
A group of schoolchildren with drums and high-sugar drinks have just come and sat next to me. Wonderful.
It's all got a bit eventful down the lower end of the EPL this last week. Gareth Cox was axed as head coach of Bracknell and replaced by Lukas Smital, while Jon Kynaston stepped down from the head coach's position at Peterborough. Meanwhile, Telford continue to sign players, left, right and centre, with veteran Rick Plant the latest to land in Shropshire from Guildford.
AWAY DAY BLUES
To give some context here, Wildcats' recent away record is not good. OK, so overall four wins from 11 games outside Wiltshire is not too bad, but most of those victories came early on in the season and in fact the boys in red and white have only won of their last seven away games. If you factor in the home fixtures as well since mid-October, Swindon have not had top-eight form. That has to change. And fast.
The scene at iceSheffield just a few minutes ago. Filling up since then.
If you take a quick peek back to 5.13pm, you can vote in our rather neat poll on what the outcome of tonight's game will be.
The players have now cleared the ice. We're around a quarter of an hour from face-off.
Come on @SwinWildcats we can beat these dogs & get the 2pts we need!! cheering from home :-) x #wildcatslive— @Faithangeljoy 08 December 2013
The flipside of the availability issue is that Swindon do have some semblance of cover in the form of returning defenceman Fojtik. The towering Czech, Wildcats' defenceman of the year in 2012/13, joined the club on a short-term deal this week and could end up playing next weekend as well. While clearly not a direct replacement for Sandvik, he is a goal threat and a top player when in the mood. Let's hope that mood is with him this evening.
Thoughts on tonight's game? #wildcatslive
The players from both sides have been out and warming up for a good 10 minutes. Always a great place to watch hockey, iceSheffield.
Incidentally, GB Under-20s beat Solway in their second warm-up game before the World Championship (Division 1B) last night, by the way. Sam Duggan (2), Jordan Cownie, Ivan Antonov, Matt Selby and Shawn Mackie scored in the 6-3 victory.
Let's get down to the nitty-gritty of player availability. In short, it's not great news. Swindon are without four players, those being the trio that are away with Great Britain Under-20s – Ollie Betteridge, Floyd Taylor and Sam Godfrey – while Finnish forward Henri Sandvik is out with concussion. Among those icing tonight are head coach Ryan Aldridge, two-way forward Loris Taylor and of course, Czech giant Tomas Fojtik, newly re-signed at the Link Centre on a short-term deal.
PHOENIX INFLICT DEFEAT
Swindon were beaten 4-2 by high-flying Manchester last night. James Archer put the visitors in front (18.50) before Ryan Watt tied it up at 29.17. However, Michal Psurny struck twice at 31.25 and 38.56 – the second of these efforts being short-handed – to make it 3-1 to the Phoenix. Liam Chong extended the lead (46.58) before Jan Kostal continued his good run of points-scoring form (53.37) as he bagged a second consolation for Wildcats.
Good evening. Time to round off another quiet week in the EPL (ahem) with minute-by-minute coverage of Swindon Wildcats' trip to Sheffield Steeldogs. In my humble opinion, as games in the first half of the season go, this is one of the bigger ones.
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