After suffering a heavy defeat in Swindon the weekend before, the visit of Wildcats to the Thunderdome looked on paper like a possible repeat.
Wildcats have the best squad in the league so Thunder faced a daunting task, a task they set about in commendable fashion on Sunday.
Thunder more than held the Wildcats for 45 minutes of this game, with their focus just waning in the final period.
With the game goalless after ten minutes it took a Thunder penalty giving Wildcats a man advantage to enable the best powerplay in the league to open Thunder’s defence and score the first goal. Chris Jones scoring the first of his hat trick. Thunder hadn’t settled after that before Edgars Bebris made it 0 – 2. After that Thunder were back on their game plan, holding Wildcats impressive offence while using their speed to break and cause problems for the ‘Cats defence. The period ending 0-2.
With the addition of Sean Norris and Sam Talbot to the Thunder line up for this game, Thunder had a lot more scoring threat and the second period belonged to the home side. Outshooting Wildcats in the period, Thunder got on the scoresheet midway way through the period with a Michael Stratford goal, just reward for their efforts.
Going into the final period just a goal down at 1 – 2, Thunder continued to pressure Wildcats when possible while concentrating on containing the visitors potent attacking power. Unfortunately that concentration started to ebb in the last twelve minutes and Wildcats pounced to score three more goals before the end, with Aaron Nell, and Chris Jones (2) finding a way past Thunder’s defence.
Although the result was 1 – 5, Thunder played well and caused Wildcats significant problems for the vast majority of the game.