The Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats completed a tough second weekend of pre-season with back-to-back defeats with the Bees IHC, firstly in Swindon on Saturday before falling on the road in Slough last night.
Whilst the results were not what the team wanted going into the weekend Head Coach Aaron Nell was quick to praise the spirit of the team and the fight of the next generation Wildcats players having been thrown in at the deep end.
Going into the weekend’s games without Neil Liddiard, Stevie Whitfield, Chris Jones, Reed Sayers and Eddie Bebris the Cats were always going to find it a tough encounter with the Bees. With 5 senior names out Head Coach Aaron Nell called up juniors Mason Lipsey, Jay Warren, Bailey Perre and Jacob Minter as well as a boost with the arrival of Emil Svec.
Saturday saw the home side fall to a 9-5 defeat at the hands of the Bees. At the end of the first period the Cats were holding a 2-1 lead thanks to goal from Cain Russel & Floyd Taylor with veteran James Galazzi on the sheet for the visitors. In the middle period the Bees score four goals through Josh Smith, Dominik Gabaj, Garry Simpson & Mikey Power with Aaron Nell scoring for the hosts as we went into the final period 3-5 down.
The final period for the Cats got off to a great start after Balint Pakozdi scored within the first three minutes. A Nicklas Ornmarker strike was cancelled out by Wildcats forward Emil Svec just ten seconds later but with the score at 5-6 in favour of the Bees they were able to score three more goals in the third to complete the win. Josh Martin, Josh Smith and Will Stead securing the Bees 7th, 8th and 9th goals of the night.
On Sunday the Wildcats were depleted further with the morning announcement Aaron Nell and Tomasz Malasinski would both be missing in addition to the five absentees from Saturday. However, the fight and desire could not be questioned as the team went 0-1 up at 0:20 through Balint Pakozdi.
The Bees would go into the first break a goal up after Mikey Power scored two in four minutes to cancel out the Wildcats opener. In the second period the Wildcats again scored inside the opening 30 seconds, this time Pakozdi turned provider for Emil Svec to score his second of the weekend.
Dominik Gabaj found room to score the first of his two goals of the night at 26:46 to ensure the Bees held the single goal advantage going into the final period of pre-season. At 42:54 the Win was secured when Gabaj found the twine past Renny Marr in the Wildcats goal.
Looking ahead to next weekend the NIHL Cup gets underway with the Cats hosting the Telford Tigers on Saturday night before a repeat of yesterdays game with a road trip to Slough to take on the Bees on Sunday evening.
Photo Credit: David North