Wildcats have mixed Streaming Series weekend

Aaron Nell lets a shot rip in Saturday's game with MK Lightning (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

Swindon Wildcats ended their NIHL Streaming Series with another win and defeat as they took a result at Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday before falling to Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.

The event continues to do well in terms of viewership despite the coronavirus conditions imposed that has seen all the venues closed to fans.

But Wildcats coach Aaron Neil is hoping to use his team’s games as a foundation for any possible action, if the Streaming Series proves to have passed without any issue.

“Sheffield were deserved winners – they were more clinical than us,” Nell told Yorkshire Post.  

“It’s disappointing to come out on the losing side but, on the whole, it has been a successful two weeks for us and if we manage to carry on playing after this series, then we can take a lot from this last two weeks.”

Wildcats were one and one going into this weekend and began with a trip to Milton Keynes Lightning where they looked to repeat the 8-6 success they had at home last week.

Swindon edged a tight affair at MK on Saturday (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

Lightning opened the scoring through Bobby Chamberlain, with his fourth goal of the series – all against Swindon, but that was cancelled out by an unassisted Balint Pakozdi finish.

Russ Cowley and Robin Kovar both struck within a minute to open a two-goal lead in the second period, with Sam Bullas grabbing one back shortly after.

Tomas Kana added a fourth for MK before the period end, restoring the gap and looking to carry that on into the third.

Wildcats didn’t waste any time as Malasinski netted within the opening minute of the final period to reduce the arrears.

They pulled level with Bullas grabbing his second and Wildcats’ fourth, setting up an interesting finale where the next goal would likely be the winner.

Swindon have won two and lost two in their Streaming Series games (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

And so it proved to be as Malasinski edged the visitors in front on the powerplay with seven minutes to play, giving Swindon a lead to hold on to which they duly did.

Back in the Link Centre a day later, the Wildcats were out to avenge last week’s loss to Ben Morgan’s Sheffield Steeldogs side, but were unable to do so in a highly entertaining game featuring 12 goals.

Steeldogs went two up in the first six minutes as Alex Graham and James Spurr with found the net, but Chris Jones pulled one back in reply.

Graham notched his second and Steeldogs’ third to make it 3-1, which was increased to four as Ben O’Connor scored shorthanded while Jason Hewitt took a seat in the penalty box for tripping five minutes into the middle period.

Two powerplay goals from Toms Rutkis reduced the deficit to one as the game headed into the final period and it was here the Steeldogs surged further ahead to put the contest out of site.

Ben Lake, Hewitt and Tom Relf added goals five, six and seven for Sheffield and although Pakozdi and Jones were on target in the final minutes, the game belonged to Steeldogs, who play MK Lightning in a double header next week to round off a welcome return to ice hockey.

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