Ice-hockey play-off crunch for Streatham as they look to tame Wildcats

By David Carr

Streatham face a do-or-die weekend as they face Swindon Wildcats over two legs in the quarter-final of the National Ice Hockey League play-offs.

The RedHawks host the Wildcats in the first leg on Saturday at Streatham Arena knowing they likely need to get an early advantage, having not won in Swindon in their two attempts in the league this year.

“It’s my favourite time of year,” said head coach Jeremy Cornish. “The league season is the priority for everyone, but as in most North American sports the end of season play-offs carries as much weight.

“We will be working on a number of things in training to combat the Wildcats and will need to be at our best to beat them, especially over two legs.”

Streatham suffered two defeats last weekend, making it three reverses in a row for the South Londoners.

The RedHawks lost 6-4 in Peterborough against a Phantoms side looking to win the league title by increasing their goal difference.

Pre-game hype had upset the RedHawks players with the Phantoms marketing the game as a ‘goalfest’ and the determination of the Streatham players brought them back from 4-0 down to 4-4 – effectively ruining the hosts’ chances.

Streatham looked tired on Sunday and slumped to a 4-3 loss against Invicta Dynamos in South London. The game had no less than five fights with Ben Paynter dropping the gloves with ex-Streatham player Harrison Lillis on three occasions.

A brace from Andreas Siagris and a lone effort from Ryan Webb were not enough to stop a Dynamos side inspired by import Jaroslav Cesky.

“Nothing that has happened before matters now,” explained Cornish. “That’s the beauty of the play-offs. Everyone starts from the same position and you either perform and progress, or you go home for the summer. We need to make sure we are ready.”

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