Ancitis debut strike not enough to stop Swindon

swindon_060119Latvian import Oskars Ancitis notched a debut goal for the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday night but it was not enough to prevent a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of the league leading Swindon Wildcats.

Dynamos went into the game without Callum Best, Joe Allen, Ryan Giles and Anthony Leone, with the latter serving a three game suspension, but gave new signing Oskars Ancitis a debut. The Wildcats were missing Jan Kostal, Toms Rutkis, Tyler Perre, Elliot Randall and Ben Nethersell.

The opening period of the game saw the Dynamos and Wildcats clash as both teams tried to score the first of the night – Dynamos using their physicality to their advantage against the skill of Swindon. Ondrej Zosiak tried to get the puck past Remy Marr with a speeding wrist shot but the puck hit the post and was flung into the corner. Lewis English and Matt Foord linked up but Foord’s one timer was read by Marr and he pulled off a pad save sending the puck into the corner. Brandon Miles and Neil Liddiard had words after the two collided in the corner but the Wildcats man was not interested.

First goal of the night was scored by Swindon’s Sam Jones as he slammed the puck into the goal from the blue line after a pass from Maxim Birbraer at 15:17. With 15 seconds left of the period, Swindon tried for another, but Ryan Morgan and the Wildcats player collided with Connor Morris sending the goalie crashing into his own net. Pushing and shoving came after the incident, but nothing came from it. End of the first period and the Dynamos were 1-0 down.

Second period began and the Dynamos brought the same spirit as the first and tried to bully the Wildcats into turning the puck over. However a second goal for Swindon was scored at 24:53, as Jones got his second goal of the night with another powerful drive from distance.

Oskars Ancitis made himself known as he planted a hit on Edgar Bebris against the boards and proceeded to hit Sam Godfrey which sent both Wildcats to the ice. Ancitis was penalised 2+10 for boarding but he fired up the crowd and was given a warm welcome as he headed to the box.

The Dynamos killed the penalty and finally got their first powerplay of the night as Godfrey was sent to the bin for a two minute tripping minor. However, the man advantage was wasted as the Wildcats controlled the play and managed to pin the Dynamos in their own end.

Goal three for Swindon was then scored by Sam Bullas at 36:18 as he fired the puck past Morris with a well taken shot from the right circle. Dynamos, desperate for a reply, went close as English dangled through Bullas and Loris Taylor but he was intercepted by the Wildcats’ defencemen.

Arran Strawson showed his frustration as he sent Jonas Höög to floor with a hard mid-ice hit with only seconds left of the second period. The frame then ended with Swindon leading 3-0.

Third period opened with several penalties as Floyd Taylor was sent to the penalty box for high sticks. Foord was also sent to the box not long cancelling out the powerplay after as he was called for a 2 minute tripping penalty but was then given an addition 10 minute misconduct for remonstrating with the linesman.

Swindon scored their fourth goal at 49:56 as Jones’ missed the net but found Birbraer close right who played it across the crease to Bullas to tally his second of the evening. A minute later the visitors increased their edge to 5-0 as Höög fired the puck home from point blank right – somehow squeezing a shot through Morris at the near post.

Dynamos were tiring but still proceeded to push for a breakthrough. Brandon Miles passed the puck to Foord who attempted to score from close range but Ancitis swooped in grabbed the rebound and roofed the puck into the top right corner for 5-1 at 56:09.

Finding the net boosted the home side who went on the attack for the remainder of the tie. Ancitis waited at the blue line for a pass from Miles and the Latvian dodged the Wildcats defencemen and faced Marr alone but Marr read the play and performed the save. The final buzzer then sounded as Miles and Owen Dell linked up for one last chance.

So it was defeat for the Dynamos who tired due to their short bench but their spirit never dwindled throughout the tie. Swindon Wildcats took home the win after Nell’s side secured a 5-1 lead and were good value for their points.

Written by Hannah Lawrence.

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