SWINDON WILDCATS: Bullas optimistic ahead of EPL play-offs

This Is Wiltshire: Sam Bullas Sam Bullas

SAM Bullas is in no doubt that Swindon Wildcats can win their play-off quarter-final clash with Milton Keynes Lightning this weekend.

The Link Centre forward, who struck twice and assisted Sam Smith in the 8-2 victory over Slough Jets on Sunday in the final EPL match of the regular season, believes that Cats will more than enough to sink Lightning over the two legs - providing that they play to their full ability.

And Cats have been doing exactly that in the final few weeks of the regular campaign as they won their last seven matches, including doing the double over Basingstoke Bison, shutting out champions Manchester Phoenix and Milton Keynes on their own ice, as well as defeating fellow play-off hopefuls Bracknell Bees and Sheffield Steeldogs.

It is that form that the ex-Great Britain under 20 international thinks will make the rest of the contenders sit up and take note of Wildcats as they bid to make the finals weekend next month.

“I think if it had been a run of seven games against teams below us wouldn’t mean as much,” Bullas said.

“But we have beaten the teams above us, which is massive. Especially shutting a few of them out - not many teams have done that, it is fantastic. It nice to know that we can beat the best.

“It gives you a lot of confidence, it shows that we are playing well, you can’t underestimate the team that you are going to play.

“Milton Keynes are a good team, we will give eveything we can and hopefully we will beat them.”

Until last month, Lightning had a stranglehold over the Link Centre men, winning the first four meetings of the campaign.

However, Cats won the final two head-to-heads which included the 3-0 victory at the Skydome.

“They have been difficult (to play against),” Bullas added. “They work hard, a bit like us.

“If we play like we know can for 60 minutes, then there is no doubt that we are going to beat them.

“To have seven wins in a row going into the play-offs gives us good momentum.

“It’s always nice to have a run, but at this time of year it is massive, with the play-offs it makes teams a little more wary, it makes them think.”

Having had several hard battles prior the Slough success, Cats seemed to play within themselves to conserve energy for this weekend’s big double.

Head coach Ryan Aldridge rested star forward Jonas Hoog, while in the final period at Jets, netminder Stevie Lyle was allowed to sit back while Michael Crisp got his chance on the ice.

“I wouldn’t say that we took it easy (against Slough) but we played safe, played a solid defence and capitalise on the chances,” Bullas said.

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