Cats enjoy a weekend on the road
5:30am Monday 10th March 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
SWINDON Wildcats head coach Ryan Aldridge was delighted to see his side claim two massive victories on the road in the EPL this weekend.
The Link Centre side followed up Saturday’s 5-2 victory at league leaders Basingstoke Bison with a stunning 3-0 victory at bogey side Milton Keynes.
But it was the manner of the wins which will please Aldridge the most as they bounced back from three successive defeats on the road.
He said: “It has been a great weekend for us. To beat them (Milton Keynes) 3-0 is a massive result for us, some guys have had great weekends, Stevie Lyle was phenomenal.
“We joked after the first period that he only had the 20 shots, where last week he had 26, he kept us in it during that first period for sure and for the final 15 minutes we were just playing for him to get that shutout.
“I thought that we were a little flat tonight after last night, but it is just about staying level headed now, we know what we have to do, we have to be smart defensively and take our chances when they come.”
With the play-offs nearing, the wins will send a message out to the rest of the league that Cats will be no pushovers in the quest for glory.
Aldridge added: “I think that these two wins against the two sides we have played is a massive confidence booster for us and we want to keep this run going into the play-offs.
“I think we can take more from last night into the play-offs as we have them again, they are fighting for the championship, I thought we played well against them and I thought that we might have to meet them in play-offs and we wanted to send out a message in their building.”
Cats’ netminder Lyle was in superb form at the Skydome in Coventry as he was equal to everything that Lightning could throw at him.
With the hosts piling on the pressure throughout, Cats took their opportunities on the counter-attack.
Aaron Nell opened the scoring with the clock on 3.47 after he tucked away Jonas Hoog’s pass.
Nell and Hoog were at it again just before the end of the opening period with the former grabbing his and his team’s second of the night.
Swede Hoog made it 3-0 on 28.58 after he was on hand to tuck away Nell’s rebounded shot.
But the night belonged to Welshman Lyle as he made it a superb weekend for the Link Centre side.
That came on the back of Saturday night’s fantastic 5-2 victory at EPL leaders Basingstoke Bison.
Having gone into the match on the back of three consecutive defeats on the road, Cats top scorer Henri Sandvik had a night to remember.
The Finnish forward gave the visitors the lead early in the first period following some fine work by Jonas Hoog.
But the hosts hit back five minutes into the second period as Miroslav Vantroba drilled the puck home from long range.
Parity, however, was short lived as Sandvik grabbed his second of the night before Floyd Taylor gave Cats a 3-1 lead.
But Vantroba pulled the table-toppers back within one goal with a carbon copy of his first to send the two sides.
Cats were not going to be outdone though as they stormed to victory in the final period with goals from Jan Kostal and Sandvik.