A SATURDAY night overtime defeat left Swindon Wildcats to split their weekend double-header against Basingstoke Bison.

After a 4-3 win in Hampshire on Friday evening, Cats returned to home ice the following day, only to fall to defeat by the same scoreline as Bison took advantage of an overtime penalty on Tomasz Malasinski to snatch the win.

Malasinski had been the hero for Wildcats in normal time as he scored with 56 seconds left on the clock to level the game up at 3-3.

Twice player-coach Aaron Nell equalised after Basingstoke goals as the second period ended 2-2.

Bison edged back in front on 52:05 as Sam Bullas took a penalty, before Malasinski struck and took the game to overtime.

Friday’s win had ended a three-game losing run for Wildcats and overall the coach saw progression in his side over the course of the weekend.

“The big thing for me is that we’ve made progress over the week compared to the previous couple,” he said.

“Of course it’s very frustrating but all we can think about is moving forward. We’ve made progress and that’s the most important thing.

“We need to keep building on that next week, and on Saturday night we’re playing Leeds, who will want to beat us.

“We need to get a win in front of our home fans. We’ve had three great crowds in the last three weeks and we haven’t won.

“We were better tonight but we need to get a win for our fans.”

After their hard-earned win the previous night, Nell felt his side’s intensity levels had dropped off slightly.

He knows more of the same will be on the cards when the play-offs come around.

“I don’t think ours (intensity) was quite as good as the night before, but every game against Basingstoke is great,” he said.

“It was another good game, we did well to score in that last minute – a great goal by Tomasz.

“It’s a close game and that’s how it’s going to be in the play-offs. There’s a chance we could be in Basingstoke’s group.

“It’s disappointing not to win, but I’ve seen progress this weekend and that’s what I asked for.”

On Friday night, a strong start saw Cats go in front after less than four minutes through Edgars Bebris, doubled by Nell.

Basingstoke hauled level and the sides traded further goals through Cats’ Sam Godfrey and Sean Norris, before Malasinski teed up Nell for the winner.