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Game Preview: Wildcats vs Tigers & Pirates 28-29/11/15

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Swindon Wildcats logo The Wildcats go head-to-head with the Tigers in the English Premier Ice Hockey League tomorrow evening [Saturday November 28, 2015] in a Movember charity themed game night. Opening puck drop is at 5:45pm.

Having succumb to a 4-3 reverse at Bracknell last Sunday evening, the Wildcats will be looking to return to winning ways against the Tigers at the Swindon Ice Arena on Saturday evening but even with a 2-1 series lead, they won't be taking anything for granted against a Tigers side who are joint-top of the current form charts.

Following the lacklustre start to the defence of their league title, our visitors have well and truly turned the corner and the Staffordshire based side have now won in eight of their last nine games and are quietly going about their business in making an assault on the top half of the standings, suggesting better things are to come in 2016.

Slovakian forward Peter Szabo is leading the charts for our visitors going in to the game and will certainly be one to try to neutralise in play. The 34-year old centre has notched up 34 points from the 20 games he's featured in so far this season, but in the three games against the Cats, he's only managed 2+2 suggesting the Cats have got the mark of their man thus far.

Speaking to the Swindon Advertiser ahead of the game, captain Jan Kostal identified the Tigers threat saying: "We have Telford at home, who are really good, and we must play the same game like we did against Manchester with good D.

"They are very good in power-plays so the key will not be giving so many penalties away at home.

"I know that we are really good at penalty kill, but they have the good guys to score and if we keep it five on five then that will be important."

It's the Wildcats penultimate home fixture before Christmas so why not come along and support the guys and bring the whole family? There's FREE parking and we'll be celebrating the evening with a Movember themed charity game night so whether you're already sporting a nice Mo or if you just want to go out and buy a stick on one that'll turn heads, "Mo up" as the best Mo will win a post-game on ice photograph with the whole team!

2015-16 SEASON SERIES vs TIGERS

4-2 | 2-3 | 3-0

TICKETS

Seated tickets for the game are already limited - so thank you all for your amazing support once again! Remaining tickets however are available to purchase online or via our Wildcat Sports megastore which is situated on the ground floor of the Link Centre [accessed via the library entrance].

Tickets are priced from £13 for Adults, £10 for Concessions and £5 for Children.

WILDCATS FROM: Netminder - Jordan Hedley and Stevie Lyle. Defence - Callum Buglass, Neil Liddiard, Kenton Smith, Harvey Stead and Stephen Whitfield. Forwards - Sam Bullas, Carlo Finucci, Owen Griffiths, Adam Harding, Jonas Höög, Jan Kostal ©, Tomasz Malasinski, Corey McEwen, Aaron Nell, Toms Rutkis, Michael Stratford, Floyd Taylor. Utility - Lee Richardson and Matt Selby.

TIGERS FROM: Netminders - Sam Gospel and Thomas Murdy. Defence - Corey Goodison, Joe Graham, Marcus Maynard, Martin Ondrej, Daniel Scott and Sam Zajak. Forwards - Maxim Birbraer, Callum Bowley, Daniel Davies, Macaulay Heywood, Phil Hill, Vladimir Kútny, Joe Miller, Blahoslav Novák, Rick Plant, Nathan Salem, Jason Silverthorn ©, James Smith, Peter Szabo and Adam Taylor. Utility - Daniel Rose, Jonathan Weaver and Dale White.

FORM

Ahead of the game, Tigers are one place below the Wildcats in sixth, however they have two games in-hand and are just one point behind on 24.

THE LAIR

We're giving away a FREE A4 player poster with issues of The Lair this season, so don't forget to pick up your copy at the game! Tomorrow's issue will feature all of our Movember participants - all of whom will be available to sign the Mosters after the game on the First Floor concourse.

The Lair is available from various vendors around the rink and cost just £2.50 per copy!

PLAY-BY-PLAY

Danny Gallagher from Total Swindon will be keeping supporters up-to-date with his play-by-play updates against the Phoenix via Twitter (@TotalSportSwin), with coverage getting underway around 5:40pm. The Swindon Advertiser will also have their online coverage at: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/icehockey

HULL vs WILDCATS

Sunday see's the Wildcats travel to Hull for just the third time this season - although the first time was for a pre-season Challenge game.

Despite being bottom of the standings since the opening day of the campaign, they are improving all of the time and it took an OT goal by Tomasz Malasinski to seal the deal for the Cats in our previous meeting back in October.

Having hastily assembled a roster ahead of the campaign following the demise of the Elite League Stingrays, it took the club ten games to pick up their opening point of the season, however in recent times they have managed wins over Manchester Phoenix, Peterborough Phantoms and Basingstoke Bison and with owner Shane Smith relinquishing his interest in theSheffield Steeldogs to concentrate on the new club, things certainly have taken a turn for the better.

Looking ahead to the game, Pirates Alternate Captain James Hutchinson believes that his team will turn the Cats over and record the W.

"I think we are a better team than Swindon," he told the Hull Daily Mail. "I really think we canwin on Sunday at home, I am confident of that."

Pirates top points scorer at present is import Tommi Laine. The 29-year old Finn currently has 15-points from 16 games, however his fellow countryman and recent signing Pasi Salonen, is quickly establishing himself as a fans favourite having notched up 11-points from the 10 games he's featured in since joining the club last month.

PIRATES FROM: Netminders - David Good, Martins Raitums and Ashley Smith. Defence - James Hutchinson, Tom Ralph and Thomas Stubley. Forwards - Lee Bonner, Cameron Brownley, Jamie Cobley, Jordan Fisher, Josh Gent, Tommi Laine, Pasi Salonen, Warren Tait ©, Samuel Towner. Utility - Jonathan Kirk and Dominic Osman.

2015-16 SEASON SERIES vs PIRATES

6-3* | 3-2 | 6-4

TICKETS

Tickets are available at the door on the night of the game and are advertised at the following rates:

Adults - £12, Concessions - £8.50, Children £5 and Family (2 x adult and 2 x children) - £27.

Click here for more information and news from the Swindon Wildcats website

Click here to see the latest Swindon Wildcats roster for the 2015/16 season

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