Hull Pirates play off aspirations had already ended and the disappointment of this was compounded with an overtime loss to Swindon Wildcats at the Hull arena tonight despite a spirited performance by Jason Hewitt’s men, going down 5-6 in overtime.
Hewitt called for two positive performances from his men and he got the first of those though it didn’t look that way in the early stages. The Wildcats took the lead on 6:26 when Stevie Whitfield opened the scoring, quickly followed on 7:27 when Tomasz Malasinski made it 0-2 to the Wiltshire side.
The Pirates were soon back in the game though when Ugnius Cizas scored a short handed goal on 9:41, as Jordan Fisher was serving a penalty. Little over a minute later Andrej Themar scored his 54th goal of the season after good work from Sam Towner on 10:57.
As the 1st period was drawing to a close Themar showed the ‘other’ side of his game, when after one too many indiscretions against him he took exception and dropped the gloves and go toe to toe with Wildcats’ Kyle Smith. Both were sent to the penalty box along with Pirates Andrew Hirst. The period ended level at 2-2.
The Wildcats opened the 2nd period scoring when after 23:11 Jonas Hoog was on hand to score past Ashley Smith only to be pegged back again on 26:45 when Themar resorted to doing what he does best and netted the equaliser, number 55 for the season. 3-3 was soon to become 3-4 though when on 29:30 after initially pulling off a good save, Smith couldn’t reach the rebound in time and Sam Bullas restored Swindon’s lead. Six minutes later the lead was doubled when Maxim Birbrear scored on 35:34 to end the scoring for the period 3-5 to the Wildcats.
The final 20 minute of home hockey saw Ash Smith pull of a fine save from a Malasinski effort before Josh Gent latched onto a bounce off the back board on 45:23 to get the Pirates within 1 of the Wildcats. A lengthy break in play then ensued while Kyle Smith of the Wildcats was tended to on the ice before been stretchered off after slamming head first into the boards. As the play resumed and Adam Finlinson of the Wildcats sat for two minutes for hooking, Lee Haywood scored the equalising goal on the Powerplay timed at 55:17.
Regulation time ended with both teams a man down due to Matt Maynard of the Pirates & Sam Bullas of the Wildcats serving penalities and the scores level at 5-5.
Overtime was to last only 44 seconds when Maxim Birbrear stepped up to seal the win for the Wildcats and condemn the Pirates to defeat number 5 in the play offs. Tommi Laine was adjudged as Pirates man of the match and Tomasz Malasinski the away award.
Jason Hewitt’s men will sign off on 2016/17 season with a trip to Coventry bound Milton Keynes Lightning, tomorrow face off at 5:30pm