Spring Cup Opening Weekend - 13/02/21 and 14/02/21
By Lauryn Fuller
Last Saturday saw the opening game of the spring cup. Swindon Wildcats hosted the Sheffield Steeldogs in the first of 7 weeks of Ice hockey.
An early power play saw the Steeldogs grab the first Goal of the game (3:01), with New signing Liam Kirk grabbing the first goal of the series.
The Wildcats managed to level the scores towards the end of the first period, Arron Nell with his first of the series. The score was 1-1 at the first interval.
The home side take the lead briefly in the second period, with Nell getting his second of the night.
The Steeldogs were quick to answer. Kirk added his second to the game and levelled the score once more.
Both teams found themselves equal once more, with two more gaols a piece for Nell and Kirk.
With the third period underway, both teams had everything to play for. The Steeldogs were the first to respond and took the lead once again. Liam Kirk completing his hattrick is this opening series fixture.
A powerplay for the Steeldogs saw Kirk light up the lamp for the fourth time in the game, extending their lead by two goals. It was interesting to see how well Kirk was performing with this new team, it’s safe to say he was having a great game, not only scoring goals but performing well in his lines.
Shortly after Kirk’s fourth, Nell wanted in on the action and completed his first hattrick of the series. Closing the gap of the Steeldogs lead to just one.
With the Steeldogs lead shortened, it gave the Wildcats with the perfect opportunity to try and fins an equaliser to take the game to overtime.
However, the Steeldogs found their fifth goal of the game through Ben O’Connor.
The home team found a late response to this goal, as Toms Rutkis lit up the lamp, not leaving too much time for the home team to find an equaliser.
With the final whistle blown the Steeldogs saw out the 5-4 victory to take the first win of the series.
All in all, a successful return to play and competition opener. I lively, goal ridden game saw these two teams battle it out through all three periods. A positive for Swindon is they travel to Sheffield tomorrow to do it all over again and maybe get one back against the Steeldogs.
Swindon - 4
Sheffield - 5
Sheffield Steeldogs vs Swindon Wildcats - 14/02/2021
On Sunday, The Sheffield Steeldogs hosted the Swindon Wildcats, it a reverse fixture to what was the series opener the previous day. The Wildcats were hoping to take this fixture and equal the series.
Ben O’Connor opened up the scoring early in the first quickly putting the Steeldogs in the lead.
30 seconds later, the Steeldogs got their second of the game, Liam Kirk lights up the lamp, adding to the four goals he scored in the previous fixture.
Hull Pirate loanee Jason Hewitt extended the Steeldogs lead even further, bagging his first of the series. 3-0 was the score going into the first interval, leaving a lot for the Wildcats to figure out in the second.
The Steeldogs set the bar even higher for the Wildcats to follow, as Alex Graham gets the Steeldogs fourth of the game and his first in the Spring Series.
The Wildcats managed to get one back late in the second, Balint Pakozdi got the away team on the board and narrowed the gap ever so slightly.
The third period saw the Wildcats get another goal, this time Reed Sayers gets the puck in the net and closes the gap once again.
Unfortunately, this was too late for the Wildcats and the second instalment of the Spring Cup finished 4-2.
The Sheffield Steeldogs came into this game after a very strong performance the previous day. Swindon had opportunities to make a closer game but couldn’t keep up with the chances that the Steeldogs were creating.
Sheffield get their second win of the series and have shown the control that they have on the Ice with his strong beginning. These two-teams will face each other again in the last fixture of the series on Sunday 28th March.
Next week is packed with fixtures. On Saturday the Swindon Wildcats take on the Bracknell Bee’s and The Telford Tigers host the London Raiders.
Sunday will see the reverse of Saturday’s fixtures. The Bee’s will host the Wildcats and the Raiders will host the Tigers.
Keep an eye on the team’s social media pages for details on live streams and match updates.
Sheffield - 4
Swindon - 2