THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats are on the verge of exiting the play-offs following two defeats to Sheffield Steeldogs over the Easter weekend.

After a mixed pair of results against Peterborough Phantoms a week prior, the Wildcats knew at least one success had to be recorded if they were to head into the final double-header with their fate in their own hands.

Goals from Jason Hewitt and Ben Morgan handed Sheffield the advantage in the first period of Saturday's meeting at the Link Centre before Swindon replied in the second through Chris Jones and Sam Bullas.

The hosts would not escape into the third period level, however, as Hewitt netted a short-handed goal to re-establish the visitors' lead.

Declan Balmer levelled for Nell's men with less than four minutes to go, but Sheffield's Jonathan Kirk blasted in a sucker punch inside the final 90 seconds and Alex Graham killed the game off by sliding the puck into an empty net at 59:40.

On Sunday, knowing victory was vital, the Wildcats conceded in the 47th second as hopes of a win took an early blow. Hewitt netted the first before Lee Bonner added a second for the hosts at 5:20.

Balint Pakozdi halved the deficit midway through the first period, and Emil Svec made it 2-2 a couple of minutes into the second period.

From that point, Sheffield put the hammer down and blew Swindon away. Bonner and Matt Bissonnette scored either side of a Graham brace to make it a 6-2 defeat for Nell's men.

The final weekend sees the Wildcats take on Basingstoke Bison home and away with a place at Finals Weekend still mathematically possible.

Prior to the disappointing sequence against Sheffield, the Wildcats announced the club has re-signed talented forward Tomasz Malasinski on a two-year contract extension.

Malasinski originally arrived in Swindon under previous head coach Ryan Aldridge, and since his return in 2019 the Polish forward has contributed 67 goals and 112 assists in 108 games.

Speaking after confirming Malasinski's return, head coach Aaron Nell said: “Tomasz came back to Swindon and fitted in like a glove.

"His all-round work ethic is second to none, and I personally believe he’s one of the best all-round players in the league.

"Keeping him in Swindon for another couple of years allows us to build our forward structure around him.

"The fans love him, we love him and he loves it in Swindon. This is a great move for everyone.”