Swindon Wildcats completed their second perfect weekend in a row, thanks to an overtime winner from young defenceman Sam Jones, against a tough Bracknell Bees team in Berkshire last night.


After a third consecutive shutout the Wildcats had started this season’s NIHLS1 league campaign in strong style but faced their toughest test yet when they travelled to Bracknell to take on Doug Sheppard and his team.


The Cats started the game brightly and tested Dean Skinns early on through Chris Jones and Sam Bullas but it would be the hosts who took the lead. Aidan Doughty was on hand to convert a shot after Renny Marr had pulled off the initial save, to see the Wildcats concede their first league goal in the fourth game of the season.


A matter of minutes later, at 9:37, the Cats had levelled the game up again. Sam & Chris Jones combined to find Jan Kostal tearing down on net with the Wildcats captain able to fire through Skinns to level the game up. However, it wasn’t long before the Bees were back in front.


A mix-up on the blue-line gifted Roman Malinik space through on goal and the Bees forward was able to convert his shorthanded breakaway for a 2-1 lead, and that’s how the score remained for the remainder of the opening period.


Into the middle stanza and the Wildcats had a powerplay opportunity, which they were able to make count after just 33s. Sam Bullas found room at the back post to tap the puck over the pads of Skinns and to bring the game level again. The assists on the goal going to Edgars Bebris and Aaron Nell.


At 33:03 the Wildcats got their noses in front for the first time in the game. This time it was Swindon’s turn to convert a shorthanded breakaway. Eddie Bebris picked the puck up and charged through on goal and lifted the puck over the glove for a 2-3 lead. Chris Jones picking up his second assist of the night and the other one being awarded to Renny Marr.


Into the third period and the score remained at 2-3 in favour of the Wildcats, some early penalties on both sides were given and with some 4 on 4 hockey, the Bees managed to tie the game up again. Josh Smith found room in front of the net to slide the puck into the bottom corner, with Josh Martin and Brendan Baird getting the assists there.


Both sides pressed on for a go-ahead goal, but when the clock struck 60:00 there was still nothing to separate the teams. The overtime period was fast and tense, but when Sam Jones picked the puck up down the left wing, he skated forward and found room past Skinns to ensure the Wildcats made it a four-point weekend, and 8 points out of a possible 8 so far.


MOM- Eddie Bebris