COMBATIVE defenceman Tyler Plews highlighted the importance of player discipline when icing for Swindon Wildcats in pressure-filled fixtures from now until the end of the season.

The Scottish-born Wildcat was one of just four defenceman to line up in Sunday’s defeat away at Telford Tigers after Neil Liddiard received a ban for fighting during Saturday’s win over Peterborough Phantoms.

The fight was at the culmination of a penalty-ridden contest between the two most recent Autumn and South Cup winners and saw the Cats lose a vital player for their top-of-the-table contest with Telford – a game which Swindon lost 8-6.

Far from Sunday’s result being the fault of one man, Plews was keen to stress how important keeping a cool head on the ice can be when hunting success in the upper echelons of sport.

He said: “We’re used to these types of (emotional) games when you’ve got the crowd going on behind you, but you’ve got to be able to keep your head.

“We’re all playing at a high enough level to be able to do that, and we were able to excel last weekend at home (against Peterborough).

“I love playing in games like that – those are the type of games where I feel like I play my best.

“I like the aggression, the toing and froing and the chirping. It’s all good in the end and it gives the crowd a good game to watch as well.”

An example of the controlled aggression that Plews was referring to came in the first period of Saturday’s 6-4 victory over the Phantoms.

As the visitors’ broke forward through Petr Stepanek down the middle, the 22-year-old provided the hit of the game as he drove his upper arm into the Czech’s chest, sending him crashing to the ground before being forced to depart the ice.

Plews believed the physical triumph played a part in the Cats’ ultimately successful evening and revealed how important those kinds of battles can be in the long-run.

He said: “I love it when guys come charging through the middle – I get excited and my eyes light up.

“I never try to hurt them badly, but you want to try and take them out of the game if you can.

“The hit on (Petr) Stepanek last week was a big hit and it got the boys going.

“Once we knew he was ok, all the boys on the bench were buzzing because he was a big threat and he’s a really good player in this league.

“I think it gave us an extra boost for the rest of the game.”