Slough Jets 2012-13

As they had the previous summer Slough Jets had a change of leadership with Slava Koulikov returning to the Berkshire club to take over as player/coach. Recruitment went well over the summer and September rolled round with excitement. Key players had been retained, some high quality replacements signed to fill the voids of the summer’s exits and the Jets started their season.

One of the toughest parts of the season was the fourth import position with Senko departing without icing in a game, Harabin leaving after 6 games and Tomas Valecko came in.

By the Christmas turn around Jets had adopted a 3+1 formation and found themselves high mid table in the league and well posited to challenge for the Cup. A semi-final date with the Bison saw the Jets book a cup final appearance against Guildford.

Meanwhile with the signing deadline looming Ciaran Long joined the Jets and Pavel Gomeniuk came in to replace Valecko.

Injuries also struck which meant players playing out of position, players putting in extra shifts to cover absent colleagues and the decision had to be made with a play off position already secured to sacrifice a final outside chance push for the league for a genuine chance at the cup.

The first leg of the cup final saw Guildford gifted a 3 goal lead through three soft powerplay chances but a week later at the Spectrum the Jets gave it everything including pulling the netminder which allowed two empty net goals in an all or nothing gamble and ended up with the runners up spot.

Finishing in fifth place in the league the team re-united for the play-offs and after 120 minutes of intense competitive hockey it was an overtime freak goal from MK Lightning the knocked the defending champions out at the quarter final stage.

For the Jets there were positives to take from the season despite the lack of silverware. A new team with a new coach had acquitted themselves well and it could have been different but for injuries or for the three generous powerplays at the start of the cup but secure foundations were laid to build on for the 2013/14 season. A team written off by many before the season started had done better than expectations despite rarely icing their full line all season long and not once all together after Christmas giving rise to good hopes for 13/14.

Updated: May 28, 2014 — 10:55 am