SLOUGH Jets have made a losing start to the new ice hockey season after a pair of defeats on the road.

The Jets went down 5-4 at Bristol Pitbulls in the opening round of fixtures before a 13-5 loss at Cardiff Fire on Saturday.

Cardiff raced into a five-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes before player-coach Lukas Smital pulled one back for Slough.

Smital scored two more goals to complete his hat-trick after the home team found the back of the net for a sixth time in the match, and Cardiff were 9-3 ahead before the start of the final period.

Jamie Chandler and Luke Dreelan were on target inside the first two minutes of the third stanza for Slough, but Cardiff were on fire and added four more goals for a resounding home win.

Smital told the Observer: “It was tough. Cardiff had a good start on a big rink and we didn’t skate we enough to stay with them.

“Cardiff were the better team. They created holes in our defence and the puck ended up in the back of the net.

“However, we will stay positive and believe we can get better as the season goes on.

“There were some good flashes on Saturday. We managed to score five goals on the road so that’s a positive and we move on.”

The defeat in Cardiff means Slough have fallen two places to 12th position in the National Ice Hockey League South Two table.

The Jets travel to third-placed Oxford City Stars this Sunday (6.15pm face-off). Smital said: “Oxford are a tough team toward the top end of the table.

“We played at their rink two weeks ago and know they will bring a lot of speed, so we will have to stay with them.

“We have to continue to believe we can do it and do our best.”

Slough will have their first home fixture inside the newly-refurbished rink in Montem Lane on Saturday, October 7 when Guildford are the visitors (6pm).

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