SWINDON Wildcats’ Sam Smith said his team was left ruing their luck after losing to a late goal against Bracknell Bees.

Heading into the last minute of regulation time the Wildcats were tied at 3-3 when a slapshot from Bees’ Jan Bendik took several deflections beforing sneaking past Stevie Lyle in goal.

“It was tough to lose in the last minute, it was kind of a bad bounce and we got a bit unlucky,” said Smith.

“I thought we played well enough to win and things didn’t go our way.”

Smith admitted he was scratching his head to work out why the Widcats weren’t able to make it three wins in three against Bracknell this season.

“It’s hard to tell why we lost to be honest, perhaps we just didn’t manage to get into our top gear,” he said.

“Maybe we needed to play a bit more desperate in the final period, I think we all thought it was going to OT. I think we definitely would have won it if it had gone to OT.”

Having beaten Bracknell twice this season Smith denied that the Wildcats were expecting an easy ride against their local rivals.

“I think we’ve beat them every time this season. Though when we play them it’s always close but the preparation was right, we just didn’t perform.

“Bracknell are always a hard team. They play very physically. Similarly to us they’re probably underachieving a bit this season.”

Smith refused to look down after the loss which saw the Bees go ahead of the Wildcats in the table.

“We know we’ve got the team to beat anyone in the league and if we can put it together we can make some noise in the play-offs.”

Smith said he was enjoying the higher profile his sport is getting at the moment with ice hockey on terrestrial TV at the Winter Olympics.

“I think the Russia v USA game being on primetime was great, I got a few messages off people who aren’t usually interested saying they were watching.

“We got one of the biggest crowds we’ve had this season. Hopefully it will inspire a few kids to take up ice hockey.”