CHRIS Jones netted an important hat-trick as Swindon Wildcats twice came from two goals down to beat Peterborough Phantoms 8-5 in a frenetic game at the Link Centre on Saturday night.

The Wildcats’ second forward line bagged seven of the eight goals against the Phantoms as Aaron Nell’s side stretched their unbeaten run to nine games.

Two goals down inside the first 13 minutes, Bebris got the Cats back in the game before the visitors nabbed a third while Nell’s side was on a powerplay.

Jones halved the deficit once again while Bebris squared the game at three not long later.

The Phantoms pushed two goals ahead once again late on in the second, only for birthday boy Toms Rutkis to score the Cats’ fourth with three seconds remaining.

The 22-year-old made it 5-5 in the third, and from then on the home side never looked back.

Jones notched his second and third while Tyler Plews struck into an empty net from inside his own defensive third before enjoying the acclaim of the home faithful.

Far from their best as a team at times, Nell had no doubt which of his players had the biggest impact in the come-from-behind victory.

“Chris Jones, Edgars Bebris and Toms Rutkis won us the game tonight,” said Nell.

“In a close game, I’ve never seen a line play like that.

“They were outstanding in that third period – my line and Floyd (Taylor’s) line were just playing defence to give those three a rest and get them back out there. They were exceptional.

“The third period was out best period – those three kept us in it before that and in third, they took the game away from Peterborough.

“We were joking in practice yesterday because they were horrendous, but tonight they were very good.”

The three-goal win ensured the Cats’ impeccable record at home remained intact for another week.

But with second place Telford Tigers roaring into town next weekend, Nell knows his side’s unblemished record won’t remain that way forever and has called on his players to enjoy the challenge of keeping their winning run going for as long as possible.

He said: “When we were down in the second period, it was about enjoying the challenge because we haven’t been in that situation for a while.

“We know we’re going to lose eventually, so we’ve just got to embrace it while we’re on this run and enjoy it.

“We got away from that in the second period, but we knew we had a challenge and thankfully we got a big win.

“It was a great game to watch, and that’s something we take pride in as a team.

“We’ve played in a lot of good games this year and we love to entertain our crowd.”