SLOUGH Jets head-coach Lukas Smital has hailed the mental attitude his side showed in a 6-5 overtime win against Bracknell Hornets on Saturday.

The Jets are unbeaten at home in six matches since their last defeat in November and are now on a three-match winning streak, leaving them in seventh position in National Ice Hockey League South Two.

A goal from Smital gave Slough the lead inside seven minutes but Bracknell led at the first buzzer thanks to goals from Joshua Ealey-Newman and Steven Fisher.

The Hornets extended their advantage further when Fisher and Daniel Hughes found the target in the middle period although Simon Griffiths was able to pull one back for the Jets.

A goal from Liam Underdown levelled the scores three minutes into the final stanza, before a second from Hughes put Bracknell back in front on 48 minutes.

Slough forced overtime thanks to a goal from Jack Standing with five minutes still to play and the Jets secured the points when Luke Reynolds netted in the 65th minute.

A delighted Smital told the Observer: “It’s funny how you can achieve a lot when you put your minds to it. Seventy per-cent of success is about mental attitude.

“Over the course of a season, you can’t really get better at skating or skills in general. We have learnt to improve style-wise, but it’s not because we’ve become unbelievable players overnight.

“We believe in ourselves more than ever before. When you play against a top team, if you shrink you’re not going to reach your potential. It’s about believing in yourselves and then excelling.

“The energy we have towards one another has given us that extra boost.”

He added: “The small rink has something to do with it but we were losing games at the start of the season and halfway through.

“It’s down to the mindset of the opposition, I don’t know what they are thinking. It is not a nice play to play but it’s a pad. It is not a great advantage and it’s not a size thing, but it does help a little.

“The most important thing is our attitude towards each game and the believe we have at the moment.”

On the win against Bracknell he added: “It was a good win. We played well again collectively as a team and that was good to see. What was really good was the way we wanted it.

“We went ahead and then conceded four goals, but we didn’t give up and believed in what we spoke about and kept on going.

“We equalised and got the momentum behind us, and our determination to battle got us into a position to win in overtime. Overall I thought it was a great win.”

Slough host Basingstoke Buffalo this Saturday (6pm) where a win could go a long way to secure a play-off spot.

Smital said: “We will take it one game at a time. Just because you have beaten a top side doesn’t make you superstars, you’ve still got to build game on game and we we get back to doing what we do best.

“It will be a battle for 60 minutes and is our last home game of the regular season, so the plan will be to leave it all out there.

“If we do that then no-one will be upset and it will be the best that we can give of ourselves.”

On the play-offs he added: “When you look at our last two games we’ve a great chance to make it to the play-offs.

“That would be magnificent but we can’t look too far ahead. If you lose sight of your short term goals you might have a hiccup.”

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