Slough's big guns turn up against Pitbulls – again
BRISTOL Pitbulls lost their second league game of the season going down 6-2 to Slough Jets.
As a result of being officially designated a development league, teams in higher leagues are allowed to send under-21 players down for extra ice time.
And for the second year in a row, Jets chose a game against Bristol to give their young prospects an extra run out. And, as it was 12 months ago, it was Aaron Connolly who did most of the damage against the young Bristol side.
Connolly, assistant captain for Slough's EPL side, was the lynchpin on a first line that scored all six of Slough's goals. Helping Slough skate out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, he ensured that the Pitbulls spent the rest of the night chasing the game.
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Shannon Taylor and Richie Hargreaves pulled it back to 4-2 by the end of the second period. However, that was as close as Bristol could get to the home side, going on to lose the final period 2-0.
It was a defeat that left player-coach Richie Hargreaves with mixed emotions.
He said: "I am a little bit disappointed. This was a game where we were looking to put into practice what we had worked on in the two weeks since our draw in Invicta.
"And I do think that we were a better team than we were in that game. But, obviously, this wasn't the same Slough team that lost in Peterborough the night before. And chances are that they aren't going to turn up with these guys again. Ultimately, we'd have won the game had it not been for their first line."
However, Hargreaves is confident in the long-term benefit from his approach to developing his team.
"I don't have a problem with what Slough did. It's just not the route that we have chosen. Their first line were on the ice for about 40 minutes and they only played two lines the whole night. Their defenceman, Dan Scott, was playing in the Elite league last year and I don't see what playing in NIHL2 does to help him. By giving their first team players so much ice time they will not be as good a team in a few years time."
Pitbulls have their annual pool night at Riley's tomorow with fans and players alike competing. Entry is free and everyone is welcome to come along and meet the players and play against them.