By Xanthe Boursier-Gazzard
The Bristol Honda Pitbulls came out of last night with a well-deserved victory against the Swindon Wildcats, a 6-1 win that did nothing but reflect the performance displayed from the home side at The Pound.
Bristol went into the game close to full strength only missing two-way players Luke Smital, Christian Mohr & Bobby Ragan, while the visitors were missing captain Sam Bullas.
Early on in the first period, Ben Norton made a good glove save between the pipes as the Wildcats had their first close call in the offensive zone, however the pressure on Norton was rerouted by Elliot Lewis who brought the puck up the length of the ice before being stick checked as he was away, the puck found Juha Lindgren who made the finish sneaking past the pads of Renny Marr.
The following few minutes contained penalty kills for both teams who worked hard to deflect any shots that came near, notably Neil Liddiard and Sean Morris did an excellent job in Pitbulls colours. Reece Cochrane attempted a shot from the blueline that couldn’t make it past however that didn’t stop Nik Coric minutes later from delivering. He ripped a power play goal over the right shoulder of Marr short side after an excellent play by Ralfs Circenis to block an attempted clear before finding Ed Bradley in acres of space, he found Coric and the Canadian did what he does best.
The second period saw stoppages in play as both teams traded PP opportunities but determination from the home side led to a pass from Tanner Butler to the stick of Coric who gave the near sell-out crowd a phenomenal bar down goal, increasing their lead to 3-0 as the clock ticked past halfway through the second. The final five minutes of the period really presented the Pitbulls intentions for this game as Lindgren buried his second goal of the evening off a pass from Bayley Harewood. Shortly after, following an exchange of passes on the powerplay, Mason Lipsey made the finish in the low slot to extend the lead to five. After the fifth goal, the visitors swapped netminders with Tyler Perre coming into the game in relief of Marr, who stormed into the locker room following the decision.
The Wildcats finally got onto the scoreboard in the third period with a goal from Reed Sayers, although Bristol quickly retaliated as Ralfs Circenis circled the edge of Perre’s net giving possession to Adam Harding who passed out in front to Cochrane and he slammed home, sealing in an impressive 6-1 win on derby day for the Pitbulls turning the Southwest blue once again, the result leapfrogging the Pitbulls over the WIldcats in the league table.
Man of the match for the away side went to Josh Shaw and the Pitbulls man of the match was awarded to Juha Lindgren who scored his first two goals for the Pitbulls.
We go again tonight back at The Pound for our ‘away’ game against the Wildcats hopeful for a result and performance similar to Saturday night.