High-flying Slough Jets have 'unfinished business'
Published: 10 Nov 2011 13:460 comments
HEAD COACH Doug Sheppard says there is a feeling of unfinished business amongst his Slough Jets squad as they continue to lead the way in the English Ice Hockey Premier League and Cup, writes Rob Stevens.
The Jets extended their winning streak to seven with a thrilling 7-3 victory at Swindon Wildcats on Saturday before losing for the first time since early October against the same opposition at The Hangar on Sunday.
"The goal is to win as many trophies as we can and obviously its been really good to get back to winning ways after being naught for two at the start of the year," Sheppard told the Observer.
"We've upped our game since then with a number of the guys contributing and we are playing really well as a team. The scoring has been spread round with Ryan Watt adding physical presence and Dan Davies stepping up well now back in the centre.
"We had a slow start last year but a lot of the players came back because there is a feeling of unfinished business."
Slough finished runners-up in the league in 2006, 08 and 2010 but lead Guildford Flames by three points this year. Ex-head coach Peter Russell lead the Jets to cup glory last season and they are a point clear of Guildford so far this term.
Watt put Slough ahead after just 76 seconds at The Link Centre with a solo unassisted goal before Swindon's Jaroslav Cesky levelled after seven minutes.
Goals from Darius Pliskauskas and Aaron Connolly inside 18 seconds opened up a 3-1 lead but Nicky Watt pulled one back after the home side called for a time out.
The in-form Tom Carlon scored soon after the end the opening period with the Jets 4-2 ahead.
Sheppard netted a powerplay strike midway through the second which was followed by Pliskauskas' second. But, Swindon's Samuel Bullas halved the deficit before Sheppard called for the visitor's time out.
Carlon sealed the points for Slough with his second of the game late into the third period.
However, the Wildcats got revenge 24 hours later with a goal in each period of the game.
Lee Richardson netted the opener after 10 minutes, Cesky doubled in the 40th and Jonas Hoog sealed the win late on with the teams four-on-four.
Sheppard's side welcome basement side Peterborough Phantoms to The Hangar on Saturday (6:30pm f/o) before making the short trip to rivals Bracknell Bees on Sunday (6pm f/o).
"Peterborough have beaten Guildford and Milton Keynes already so we'll have to be ready," Sheppard continued.
"Bracknell beat us a couple of times earlier in the year but we have improved since and I think we can utilise our speed on their big home ice."
Slough have already recorded 7-4 and 10-4 wins over The Phantoms and meet Bracknell 7-3 the last time the rivals faced-off.