MAINTAINING recent consistency and ending the Basingstoke hoodoo is on the agenda for Swindon Wildcats and their head coach, Aaron Nell this weekend.

Having taken 14 points from a possible 16 over the course of the past month, the Wildcats’ recent troubles appear to be behind them ahead of clashes with Basingstoke Bison and Milton Keynes Lightning.

An away trip to face the Bison is up first for Swindon on Saturday night, and Nell is keen for his team to achieve something they have yet to this season.

Nell said: “Basingstoke have won their past four games in a row too, so they’ve got a lot of confidence right now.

“I think it’s the one rink we haven’t won in yet, so we need to make sure that we’re ready going into their rink.

“The past two times, we’ve lost there quite badly, so we need to make sure we play a lot better than we did in those games.”

If the Cats are to end that unwelcome run, now seems to be as good a team as any thanks to a huge improvement in consistency.

Discussing his team’s upturn, Nell said: “We’re getting there. We’ve worked really hard over the past four or five months to gain some consistency. At the moment, we seem to have that – I think we’ve won seven of our last eight.

“Things are positive right now, and now is the time for us to really push and keep on going. I really like where we are at the moment, but it’s about where we get to in the next two months.”

Meanwhile, the Wildcats have announced Edgars Bebris will return for the 2023-23 season.

Bebris, who originally joined the club as a forward after a spell with the Coventry Blaze in the EIHL in 2017, has been a part of Swindon’s league and cup-winning squads ever since.

This season, the Latvian has shown his versatility by moving back to the Wildcats’ rear-guard action, and he is currently the highest scoring defenceman in the National Ice Hockey League.

Discussing the news, Nell said: “Eddie has played a huge role for us since we got him to Swindon, and we’re lucky he wants to carry on that journey with us.

“Last summer, Eddie approached me with the idea of playing as a defenceman, and this year, I think he’s flourished in that role.

“There was a transitional period at the start, but I think in the second half of the season he’s been excellent for us on the back end.

“Eddie clearly brings flexibility to our line-up as there have been occasions where we’ve utilised his strengths up front as well. There aren’t many stronger than him in our league, and I’m really happy to be working with him again.”