Sunday evening the Swindon Wildcats made the trip north to Shropshire to take on the Telford Tigers. After their win on Saturday night the Cats were going in search of their sixth victory in a row. The only absentee from the Cats roster was Toms Rutkis whilst the Tigers went into the game missing Corey Goodison and Adam Taylor.
The game started with a physical style. With big hits being thrown on both sides. The Tigers got into good positions early on and went close through Corey McEwen and Doug Clarkson, fortunately for Swindon both were denied by the pads of Stevie Lyle. The Cats had chances of their own through Max Birbraer and Jan Kostal. The first period, whilst physical, was fairly uneventful and the teams went into the locker room tied at zero.
The middle period the Tigers stepped it up again. Good scoring opportunities were made, Matty Davies broke down the right wing and dropped the puck back to Doug Clarkson but the big Canadian couldn't find a way past the Cats defence. At 24:20 the Tigers opened the scoring. Sam Zajac teed up Matty Davies. The British forward held the puck well, before sliding it to Michal Satek who poked the puck home from close range.
The Wildcats began to put their foot on the gas when some good work by Max Birbraer set up Sam Bullas who wasn't able to get the puck over the line. Jonas Höög also had a good chance turned away by Ondrej Raszka as the middle period also came to a close.
The final period was similar to the previous 40 minutes that had gone before. Both sides were making the big hits, neither wanted to make the error that would give their opponents the edge in the dying moments. Despite the Cats only forcing 9 shots on goal, you felt their chances were more likely to be converted.
Sam Bullas went close again with around 10 minutes left of the play, after being fed the puck from Jan Kostal. Telford again though were making hard work for Stevie Lyle. Jonathan Weaver and Milan Kolena generated strong scoring chances but neither were able to convert and seal the win for the hosts.
At 59:34 something special happened. The Cats had pulled Lyle for the extra body, the puck was won along the boards and Tomasz Malasinski fed the puck to an unlikely hero. Neil Liddiard stepped onto the puck and fired a rocket of a one timer past Raszka and ensured the game went to overtime. A special goal for a man who first made his Wildcats debut in 1993.
The overtime period loomed and it was Telford who sealed the bonus point. Matty Davies and Jonathan Weaver linked up and passed it to Sam Zajac who's blue line shot made its way into the top corner of the net at 60:39. The winning streak may have come to an end but the overtime point was enough to seal a three point weekend ensuring the Cats remain in the top four for another weekend.
Man of the match:
Swindon Wildcats - Neil Liddiard
Telford Tigers - Jonathan Weaver