Sunday evening saw the Swindon Wildcats travel to Hull to take on the high flying Pirates who were yet to lose on home ice this season. After a big win against Guildford on the Saturday night the Wildcats were searching for another four-point weekend.
The Wildcats started really well, some fast flowing hockey saw the Cats take the lead at 3:33. Jonas Höög found himself through on goal but Jordan Marr was equal to the Swede’s shot only for Aaron Nell to follow the rebound up and shoot the puck under the legs of Marr. The Pirates started to create a few chances through Jason Hewitt and Ugnius Cizas but Stevie Lyle was able to stop both efforts, as we headed towards the end of the opening period.
The second period proved to be a little more eventful. Swindon were continuing their control on the contest and at 28:18 they doubled their lead. Jan Kostal and Max Birbraer linked up well to find the young Adam Finlinson in the slot who was able to fire low on the glove side to put the visitors 0-2 up. A moment the young Brit thoroughly enjoyed in front of the travelling fans. Swindon thought they’d scored again when Tomasz Malasinksi had lifted the puck into the top corner of the net but the goal was ruled out.
This reinvigorated the Pirates, and they scored two goals in 61 seconds. Firstly, on the powerplay, Dominic Osman fired a big shot which bounced around the front of the net and allowed Jonathan Kirk to poke the puck home from the side of the net. The Pirates were then able to, score on pretty much the next shift of the match. Nathan Salem launched a long cross ice pass to Jason Hewitt who was able to skate around the Swindon defence. He then moved in front of the net made Stevie Lyle move and lift the puck over the Cats goalie into the net.
The Cats didn’t panic and were still creating chances when Adam Finlinson fired a shot agonisingly wide of the far post. The Wildcats then had their first chance on powerplay. Max Birbraer and Jonas Höög linked up and fired a pass to Jan Kostal in the slot who fired a big slapshot into the back of the net. A shot which Jordan Marr really didn’t have a chance of saving. As the period came to a close the Pirates didn’t take their foot off the gas. Dominic Osman and Jordan Stokes combined to find the man in form Andrej Themar. Themar moved along the right wing and fired a lovely shot into the top corner of the net to ensure we entered the final period at 3-3.
The final period would prove to be a physical affair, lots of big hits being thrown against both sides and at 49:42 the Pirates took the lead for the first time in the game. Dominic Osman again was provider, this time for Stanislav Lascek to fire home from close range past Lyle. The Cats were pushing and, despite losing Callum Buglass to injury, they did manage to tie the game up. Lee Richardson fed the puck to Tomasz Malasinski who moved into the offensive zone and dropped the puck back to Jonas Höög who fired his shot into the back of the net, despite the Pirates claiming the net was off.
The Cats were pushing for overtime but unfortunately for Swindon, Hull scored what would be the game winning goal at 58:15. That man again Jason Hewitt moved in from the wing, cut around the back of the defence and tucked the puck home on the near side of Lyle. Swindon decided it was time to all they could do by pulling Stevie Lyle for the extra attacker. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and the Pirates scored two empty net goals. Firstly, Andrej Themar before Stanislav Lascek both scored into the gaping net.
Swindon had fallen short in a 7-4 loss, but the game was significantly closer than the scoreline suggests.
Man Of the Match
Hull Pirates – Ugnius Cizas
Swindon Wildcats – Tomasz Malasinski