THE BESPOKE Guardians Swindon Wildcats capped off an impressive week with a four-point weekend in the National Ice Hockey League.

Following a second victory over Telford Tigers in the Autumn Cup, which booked Swindon’s spot in the final next month, Aaron Nell’s men were involved in two thrilling encounters against Basingstoke Bison and The Bees.

On Saturday, the Wildcats recovered from a poor first period to win 5-2 at the Link Centre. And on Sunday, Nell’s troop held off a late comeback charge from The Bees to snatch a 5-4 success in Slough.

The double-victory weekend saw Swindon rise up to second in the league - two points behind Sheffield Steeldogs - and maintain the Wiltshire side’s record of having lost just once in regular time through the first 11 games of the season.

Though all would be well in the end, the Wildcats were ruing another slow start on Saturday as Adam Jones scored after 3:23 for the Bison before Zack Milton doubled the visitors lead before the first buzzer.

Having reset at the break, the Cats took some time to get going before Emil Svec pulled a goal back in the 30th minute. Balint Pakozdi went on to score twice as Swindon turned the game on its head during the middle period.

Tomasz Malasinski added a fourth for the hosts midway through the third period, and Svec added the icing in the dying embers.

On Sunday, although Swindon went behind, Nell’s team responded much more quickly as Svec and Pakozdi netted in the first period following Ryan Webb’s early goal.

Malasinski and Svec nudged the Wildcats further in front during the second period, only to see Josh Martin halve the deficit for the Bees.

Nell bagged his first of the weekend just shy of the second buzzer, and it appeared as though the Cats would cruise home.

However, Domink Gabaj and Nicklas Ornmarker scored late on to set up a nervy ending - though Swindon were able to see the game out and claim two more precious points.