After a resounding 7-2 victory on Saturday evening, the Wildcats traveled down the M4 to Bracknell looking for three wins from three so far in pre-season. Tomasz Malasinski the only missing Wildcat, who was still on international duty with Poland.
Swindon got off to a wonderful start at 6.37 when a centering puck into the slot was turned in by promising junior Kyle Smith. The Bees were posing a greater offensive threat than they had the night before, Carl Thompson and Martin Pavlicek connected well to find Luka Basic in the slot who shot the puck through the legs of Lyle to tie the game up at 10:40.
Both sides were creating more chances than they had the night before, Max Birbraer had a shot well deflected at one end before Lukas Smital had a shot swallowed up by Stevie Lyle in the Cats net. The first period finished tied at one in what proved to be a closely fought game.
Bracknell were on hand to take the lead in the game at 30:36. The Bees capitalised on a break when Scott Spearing and Luka Basic linked up and Carl Thompson was able to move the puck past Lyle and into the back of the net. At 33:29 the Bees doubled their advantage, Alex Barker broke into the 'Cats zone and fired a wristshot under the arm of Lyle to make it 3-1. The Cats netminder got some of the shot but it wasn't enough to prevent it sliding across the line.
It wouldn't be long before the Wildcats got their second of the night. Almost immediately after, at 34:08, Aaron Nell broke down the right wing, dropped the pass back to the onrushing Sam Bullas who's shot made its way into the corner of the net to reduce the deficit back to one. The middle period finished with Swindon a goal down, and time to Michael Crisp to get more minutes under his belt in the third period, who replaced Stevie Lyle in the pipes during the break.
The third period was an exciting period of end to end hockey with opportunities falling for both teams. Josh Smith and Luka Basic forced Crisp into some good routine saves before they increased their lead again at 47:11. Lukas Smital showed age is just a number when he flew down the wing and centered the puck for Basic to poke home under Crisp to make it 4-2.
Bracknell were at it again at 50:30. A goalmouth scramble was enough for Scott Spearing to pounce on a loose puck and fire into the gaping net, to send the home fans wild. The assists being given to Luka Basic and Carl Thompson. The Bees knew all they had to do was remain solid and the win was theirs.
Unfortunately for Bracknell will Michael Crisp pulled for the extra forward the 'Cats got one back with just four seconds on the clock when Sam Bullas scored his second of the night with a backhand flick through the legs of Alex Mettam to make the score 5-3 in favour of the Bees. The final buzzer went shortly after the Cats had fallen short in their third game of the season, and first on the road.
Man Of The Match:
Swindon Wildcats - #13 Sam Bullas
Bracknell Bees - #96 Luka Basic