After their first win of the EPL campaign the Wildcats made the long trip north as they faced off against the high flying Hull Pirates, who were sat at the top of the league. With the Cats at full strength they needed a strong start to bring the points back to Swindon.
Hull started well and tested Lyle in the opening few minutes. Ryan Watt and Nathan Salem both forcing the Cats goalie into good saves. The Wildcats themselves found their feet with Max Birbraer and Tomasz Malasinski going close for the visitors. Swindon were able to take the lead when Ben Davies found some fortune behind the goal to make the puck bounce off the back of Marr and into the net.
The lead wasn't with Swindon for very long. At 14:50 the Pirates drew level. Jason Hewitt picked the puck up and fired a massive slapshot under the arm of Lyle to bring the home side level. The Cats tested Hull again through Aaron Nell who had a great chance to score at the back post but was blocked by the Pirates D men. With the opening period coming to a close the Pirates took the lead.
At 19:11 a goal mouth scramble saw Ryan Watt on hand to poke the puck over the line and into the back of the net. Despite good chances at both ends of the ice, the Cats found themselves a goal down after 20 minutes of play.
The middle stanza would be a more solid affair for Swindon. The Cats defended well and kept the Pirates shots to a minimum, and from distance. At 33:06 the Cats tied the game up again. Ben Davies broke down the left wing, around the defenders and was able to slide the puck through the pads of Jordan Marr to tie the game up at two. A more impressive move considering the Cats were on the penalty kill as well.
The final period of hockey for the weekend was upon us with the game tied at two. The Pirates were able to convert quickly. At 41:53 Andrej Themar sped down the left hand side, cut back inside and fired a lovely wristshot into the corner of the net, the Pirates had restored their one goal advantage quickly in the final period.
Swindon did their upmost to get back in the game. Kyle Smith and Toms Rutkis had chances to score before Jonas Höög tipped the puck just over the crossbar with about five minutes left on the clock. With Swindon pushing the Pirates were able to break fast, firstly Ugnius Cizas had a chance well stopped by Lyle before on the next shift, Andrej Themar again used his speed well to fire the puck between the legs of Lyle and sealed the result for the home side.
The final buzzer went on what was a good end to end game of hockey with the Cats getting nothing from their good efforts across the 60 minutes.
Man of the match:
Hull Pirates - Jason Hewitt
Swindon Wildcats - Ben Davies