SLOUGH Jets head coach Lukas Smital will not put added pressure on his side after an 18-match winning streak has seen them rise to the top in the National Ice Hockey League, writes Rob Stevens.

The Jets extended their incredible run with a 7-3 victory over Basingstoke Buffalo on Saturday to replace Chelmsford Chieftains at the top of the league table.

Solent Devils are two points behind Slough but with a game in hand, while Oxford City Stars remain in striking distance in fourth position heading into the final seven weeks of the regular season.

Smital, who is currently serving a two-month suspension from playing or coaching, told the Observer: “We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves. Our philosophy is to enjoy the game and there’s no need to talk about it.

“We have to take it game by game and, if we can play at our best, then good things will happen.

“We will focus on each game and enjoy it and not put the pressure on because you can get caught like that.”

The Jets took a clear lead into the first break in the Slough Ice Arena last weekend thanks to goals from Liam Underdown and Sean Norris.

Basingstoke pulled one back through Samuel Compton four minutes into the second period, but Norris restored the two-goal advantage before the halfway point in the match.

The visitors then levelled the scores when Cameron Buckle and Oscar Evans found the back of the net, before Slough star Norris struck again to complete his hat-trick.

The home team secured the points in the final stanza with goals from Adam Rosbottom, Craig Cowell and Harry Wright.

Smital commented: “It was a good overall performance again, apart from a spell in the second period where we took our foot off the gas and allowed Basingstoke back into the game.

“We dominated the third period and controlled the rest of the match.”

Slough return to action with a trip to Haringey Huskies this Saturday (5.30pm) and Smital has warned his side they will need to be prepared.

He said: "Haringey will be a different team at their place and tough to play against. We just scrapped a win in overtime there last season and they've got some good players.

"We need to to be prepared and the boys were made aware of that in training in midweek.

"We need to stay focused and we have to play at our best, plus do what is best on the night. We just need to use or strength which is speed and we should be okay.

"If we can control what we can, and play how we can, then we should come away with the result."