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Game Preview: Lightning & Phantoms vs Wildcats 05-06/12/15

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Swindon Wildcats logo PREVIEW: Milton Keynes vs Wildcats
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wildcats jump on-board the coach this weekend as they face a double road trip at the MK Lightning (face off 7pm) before they travel to Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday evening for a 5:30pm face off.

Aaron Nell could have hailed a "massive three points" for the Wildcats last weekend, despite believing that his side were a little "flat" in Sunday's OT defeat against Hull Pirates but instead, the 26-year old admitted this it is just the start of a long road ahead.

A brilliant comeback against the defending champions [Telford Tigers] on Saturday evening settled a rather nervous affair but a similar sluggish start against strugglers Hull the following evening left Nell reflecting on the point dropped, rather than the three points gained.

"I don't think it was tough. I think we were lucky to be where we were - we just weren't good enough," he told the Swindon Advertiser after the OT loss.

"Maybe we thought we were just going to turn up and beat the Hull Pirates but they work hard and this is a tough building to come to. It's a long trip, they work hard, and we didn't match it, and it's disappointing because we've got a good thing going here and we just weren't up for it.

"The first period was our worst period of the year and it wasn't good enough".

With just four road trip victories under their belts (from twelve games played), away days are still very much a work in progress, but if Nell's men are to maintain their lofty position then they need to focus on converting their home form - which has yielded 18 points out of a possible 24 - to the road, then they have every chance.

"It's a massive weekend for us," Nell explained. "It doesn't define a season but if we can follow up our last two road trip defeats with results at Lightning and Phantoms, then it makes our task a lot more manageable for the rest of the season.

"We haven't started well in our last two games so we'll need to lift the tempo but we've got the players able to do that, so I have faith in our system".

Lightning enter the game fresh from their midweek challenge victory over the U20s GB side. Coach Russell will be without Netminder James Hadfield [lower body injury] while D-man David Clements is unlikely to feature having moved to the Coventry Blaze in a two-way deal recently and is expected to see out the remainder of the season with the EPL club.

2015-16 SEASON SERIES vs LIGHTNING
2-5 | 4-3 | 1-4

TICKETS
Tickets are available on the door for walk-up customers on the night of the game and are priced at £13.50 for Adults, £9.50 and £7 for Children. Family tickets are also advertised at £33.

LIGHTNING FROM: Netminders - Jordan Marr and Dean Skinns. Defence - Lewis Christie, David Clements, Michael Farn, Ross Green, James Griffin, Martti Järventie and Edward Knaggs. Forwards - Frantisek Bakrlik, Glenn Billing, Adam Carr, Bobby Chamberlain, Jordan Cownie, Blaz Emersic, Lewis Hook, Luc Johnson, Grant McPherson, Markku Tähtinen and Jack Watkins. Utility - Leigh Jamieson.

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.

FORM
Going in to the weekend, Lightning are sitting at the top of the standings on 33 points, having played two games more than the Cats.

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, with coverage getting underway around 5:40pm. The Swindon Advertiser will also have their online coverage at: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/icehockey/

PETERBOROUGH vs WILDCATS

If facing the league's top side wasn't a difficult enough task, Sunday evening see's Nell taking his men to Cambridgeshire to face the Phantoms - who are in second, but are one the same points total as the Lightning with a massive five games in hand over their rivals, but despite being in such a commanding position as we approach the festive period, experienced forward Darius Pliskauskas isn't about to take anything for granted.

"It doesn't matter about our league position at this stage of the season," the Lithuanian told the Peterborough Telegraph.

"It is too early to get excited because we have a lot of hockey ahead of us.

"We just have to focus on producing the best performance we can every time we go on the ice.

"If we do that, we will keep picking up results and stay in a good place in the table."

Supporters unable to make the game can follow the action via the methods above or you can watch from the comfort of their device for £8, by visiting: http://ibcltd.co/phantoms/

PHANTOMS FROM: Netminders - Janis Auzins, Daniel Lane and Adam Long. Defence - Robert Ferrara, Cameron McGiffin, Thomas Norton, Greg Pick, Scott Robson and Craig Wallis. Forwards - Milan Baranyk, Edgars Bebris, Slava Koulikov, Bradley Moore, Ales Padelek, Darius Pliskauskas, Craig Scott, Connor Stokes, Martins Susters, William Weldon and James White. Utility - Jason Buckman, James Ferrara, Lloyd Gibson and Marc Levers.

2015-16 SEASON SERIES vs PHANTOMS
3-6 | 1-6

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

Adults - £14, Concessions - £8, Children £5. Two Family ticket options are also available, please see the official Phantoms website for details.

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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