Swindon Wildcats bounce back in Sheffield to extend their fine run
SWINDON Wildcats came from behind to extend their winning run to five matches in a nine-goal thriller at Sheffield Steeldogs.
The hosts stormed into a 3-1 lead, but slowly but surely the Link Centre side found a way back into the game a goal from defender Sam Godfrey little more than seven minutes from time secured yet another win for Ryan Aldridge’s side.
Cats came into this match at Ice Sheffield on the back of four consecutive victories and they were determined to make it five to maintain their fine form with the play-offs fast approaching.
It was also a night where netminder Stevie Lyle was after his fourth shut out in a row.
However, the hosts had been on a dismissal run of form as they came into the clash on the back of seven reverses in successive matches.
Steeldogs were making all the running the opening period as they aimed to become the first team to breach Lyle’s net in more than 200 minutes.
But try as they might they could not find a way past the Welshman and it was Cats who broke the deadlock on 19.02 when Sam Smith picked out Ryan Watt and he tucked the puck beyond Dalibor Sedlar.
However, the Link Centre side’s lead was short lived as Lubi Korhon grabbed a leveller 45 seconds later and become the first man to beat Lyle in 226.48 minutes to send the sides in at the interval 1-1.
It took Dogs just 41 seconds of the second period to take the lead as Ashley Calvert put in Lloyd Gibson to slot the puck past Lyle.
Things got even worse for the visitors when they found themselves 3-1 down on 27.11 when Korhon squeezed the puck beyond Lyle.
But five minutes later Cats began their fight back.
Flying Finn Henri Sandvik, who else, brought Swindon within one of the hosts after he forced the puck into the net following a scramble on 32.58.
Then Cats quickly found themselves level when youngster Sam Bullas beat Sedlar after Watt played him in.
Dogs were determined to end their winless run and it took a stunning long-range shot from Korhon to send the hosts into the lead on 38.54 and complete his hat-trick.
The visitors were back level early in the final period when Sandvik grabbed his second of the night after being played in by Jan Kostal on 40.51.
With Ben Morgan in the sin bin for the Steeldogs, Cats took full advantage to grab their fifth goal of the match when youngster Godfrey slotted the puck through the legs of Sedlar after Aaron Nell’s assist with 52.13 on the clock.
Now Cats will focus their attentions on the final weekend of the regular campaign as they entertain Basingstoke Bison on Saturday night before making the journey to Slough Jets 24 hours later.
Aldridge was slightly disappointed with Cats’ performance saying: “I think we didn’t played our best, but hopefully we will learn from that and move on.
“We were weak defensively and we just turned the puck over too easily.
“But we found a way to win and that is very important at this stage of the season, against another team it could have cost us.
“Our scoring has been across the board which is pleasing.”