WHILE Swindon Wildcats have turned round their on-ice fortunes of late, Sam Smith has been enviously looking on from the sidelines.
The former Cardiff Devils forward has been recovering from concussion while the WIldcats have embarked on their best run of form in the EPL this season, winning five out of their last six games.
While pleased that the Link Centre team have worked their way up to fifth in the EPL table, Smith has been frustrated to miss out on the success his teammates have experienced.
And providing the 22-year-old came through practice last night, he will feature in this weekend’s games against Guildford at home and Peterborough away, an opportunity he is relishing.
“You always want to see your team do well but it’s been tough for me to not be as involved as I’d like to be,” said Smith.
“I thought prior to the injury that I was playing my best hockey of the year, so it was a shame to be out, but I can’t do anything about it.
“It’s been good in a sense that there has been no rush to get me back as the team has been doing so well. We’ve got a lot more in the room than we were previously showing.
“As a team we’re not scared to face anyone right now and are one of the best teams in the league as we’re full of confidence.
“I don’t know how much I’m going to be playing and I don’t expect to come straight back into my spot as players have been playing well.
“But the opportunity is there to come back in and take the step up.
“If we stay where we are in the league then we’re going to be fully-confident going into the play-offs. It’s a fun time to be Wildcat right now and everything seems a little bit better when you’re winning.”
Smith has revealed the frustration he experienced while spending time away from the ice, given that he could not train ready for his return.
“You can’t do anything, you can’t exercise or keep fit,” he said.
“When I tested it out two weeks ago it just made it worse and I had to go away and do nothing again.
“You go right back to the start again, but I think I will be back this weekend as I felt fine when I trained on Tuesday.”
Swindon will welcome back Swedish forward Jonas Hoog with import defenceman Tomas Fojtik making way.