Cats Comeback Steals The Show

Swindon Wildcats 6 - Sheffield Steedogs 5

After a long weekend on the road the Swindon Wildcats returned to home ice to take on the Sheffield Steeldogs. Kyle Smith had been added to the Wildcats injury list but the Cats produced a stunning third period comeback to seal a 6-5 overtime victory.

The Dogs started the game quickly and were creating chances early on through the duo of Donatas Kumeliauskas and Arnoldas Bosas. At 6:44 they had taken the lead. After killing a great 5 on 3 powerplay the Cats suffered when Macaulay Heywood found room at the back post to fire high into the net. However, the Wildcats didn’t take long before they had tied the game up. Tomasz Malasinski was on hand to tip a Lee Richardson slapshot under the pads of James Hadfield at 13:49.

The second period was a tough one for the home side and at 24:27 the Dogs had taken the lead again, Arnoldas Bosas was able to convert as the Wildcats penalty had expired with the Lithuanian firing high into the net. At 31:11 things got bad to worse for the home side when Donatas Kumeliauskas was able to pounce on a defensive mistake from Swindon and fired straight through the legs of Stevie Lyle. As the period came to a close Sam Bullas and Jordan Kelsall nearly managed to convert but were both denied by James Hadfield.

The third period was where it all turned around for Swindon. At 45:53, Sam Bullas batted the loose puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net to bring the Cats within one. Jonas Hoog tied the game up at 47:21 when he and Birbraer broke through two on one with Hadfield, and the Swede calmly finished the move. At 51:24 the game was level, Tomasz Malasinski broke onto a loose puck and was able to fire low under the blocker of James Hadfield to give him his second goal of the evening.

The game was going through a tense spell and the Dogs were looking to get back in the game, they did that and then quickly re-took the lead. Ashley Calvert pounced on a loose puck behind the net and after a goal-mouth scramble he was able to put the puck in the net to tie the game at 4. At 55:54 they had scored again, Donatas Kumeliauskas circled the net and fired a shot from distance which beat a screened Stevie Lyle to give the visitors a lead with less than five minutes to play.

Swindon were back chasing, and the ever lethal Tomasz Malasinski was able to take the game into overtime. Jonas Hoog fed him the pass and the Polish international fired the puck high above the shoulder of Hadfield to tie the game at 5. Into overtime we went and it was the Malasinski again who caused the final move of the match.

He picked the puck up, skated around the net; turned and did another loop. He fired the puck towards Hadfield who saved it. Unfortunately for the Steeldogs, he couldn’t control it and Jordan Kelsall was first to react. The Supporters Club player of the month for November tapped the puck over the line and sealed the two points for the Cats.

Sunday sees a rare night off for the Wildcats, ahead of their big legends weekend next week with a home game against Telford sandwiched between our Meet the Legends night and our legends game.

Man of The Match:

Swindon Wildcats – Floyd Taylor

Sheffield Steeldogs – Macaulay Heywood