The Dayshift Recruitment Bristol Pitbulls recorded their biggest win of the season so far with a 9-3 road win against the Swindon NIHL2 Wildcats.
Despite the size of the winning scoreline, Bristol didn’t have it all their own way, however. Falling behind to an early goal scored by Swindon’s Reed Sayers after just five minutes, Pitbulls struggled to gain much momentum during the first period. Five minutes later, Tom Asprey tied the game on his first shift after coming straight to the rink after finishing work to at least ensure Bristol would end the period tied.
The second period started much stronger. Goals from Adi Smith, Dave Manning, Nathan Chilcott and Jamie Newton followed in quick succession through the first half of the period to give Bristol a commanding 5-1 lead. But a sense of complacency kicked in gave Swindon two goals in just 35 seconds, the second coming from a stunning volley from one of Bristol’s own players. Suddenly, after dominating so much of the period, Bristol found themselves hitting the dressing room at the end of the period with just a two-goal lead.
A more focussed Bristol came out for the third period. Newton, the only player to get more than one goal, got his second of the game after 44 minutes. Raffaelli then scored on the powerplay with ten minutes left to play to give Bristol a reasonably comfortable lead. Raffaelli’s goal also chased Tyler Perre out of the Swindon net, to be replaced by Liam McGuire.
Two late goals from Josh Dolphin and Adam Coakley, his first ever for Bristol and against his old team, in the final two minutes of the game gave the scoreline a more comfortable feel than the game perhaps deserved.