Late Goal Denies 'Cats Season Send Off

The Swindon Wildcats saw out their final game of the season last Sunday evening and although being part of an 11 goal thriller, would eventually fall short against a hosting Manchester Phoenix last-gasp goal.


A competitive opening to night’s fixture held with it good chances and after five minutes of play, the first goal would be netted. Courtesy of Phoenix defensemen Frantisek Bakrlik, the home side would open the night’s scoring with the import’s rapid shot making its way past netminder Stevie Lyle.  

Manchester would then find a second in as many minutes, this time with Robin Kovar converting on a wrap around and doubling his sides’ lead in the process.

However a good response by the travellers would see Tomasz Malasinski finish from close range, before team mate Aaron Nell would then tie the scores with an explosive shot for a 2-2 game.

In a quick turn of events Swindon would then take the lead just minutes later, with Nell finishing once again for his second and with it, a third for the in form Wildcats.


A positive response for the ‘Cats would see them head off after the first period with the lead but when Adam Walker’s close range effort would find the netted early in the second, the game was once again back to evens. In style of the night’s events a goal would quickly lead to another however one at the hands of the Phoenix and previous scorer Bakrlik once more. A screened shot would earn the import a fourth for the hosts and again restore the lead to Manchester at the half way stage.

Some good saves from Lyle shortly after would keep Swindon within one, before Sam Bullas would then return the favour minutes later with a shot off the post for a 4-4 scoreline.


An exciting second period lined up an enticing third and after Swindon’s Loris Taylor showed some impressive individual skill, the forward would net a fifth.

However once again this goal would then bring another and at the hands of Manchester this time round. A second for Kovar would in turn see his wristshot net a fifth for the home side and leave a final seven minutes on the clock. An even passage of play would take the game into the final minute and despite saving the initial Phoenix shot, Swindon’s Lyle would then suffer heartbreak with the rest of the team as Walker’s rebound would see the puck cross the goal line. 


A last ditch goal would see just seconds remain on the clock and be enough as the Manchester Phoenix would earn themselves a final 6-5 victory on the night.

Despite having to face the disappointing loss, it means the ‘Cats will now see their season’s efforts earn them a final fifth spot in the league and line up a playoff series against the Peterborough Phantoms this coming weekend.


Final Score: Manchester Phoenix 6 - 5 Swindon Wildcats


Scott Gummerson - Press Officer