SWINDON Wildcats player coach Aaron Nell believes the team’s two losses last weekend can be used as valuable lessons prior to the upcoming end-of-season play-offs.

The Wildcats lost 4-1 at home to Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night before being edged out 6-5 in overtime away at Telford Tigers the following evening.

Defeat to Sheffield brought to an end Swindon’s outstanding run of 10 victories from their past dozen matches in the National Ice Hockey League.

It also meant that claiming fourth place from the Steeldogs is now all but out of the Wildcats’ reach.

But choosing to look on the bright side, Nell says there are still plenty of positives to take out of the frustrating situation.

Nell said: “You can’t play more freely now fourth is pretty much out of reach, but what you can do is learn a lot more from all the performances.

“We basically pretty much know where we’re going to be going for the play-offs and who we’re going to play, so we can learn a lot more from wins and losses.

“We had a good run there and won 10 out of 12, we played some really good hockey for six weeks, but last weekend we weren’t as good as we had been in previous weeks and we got beat. I think that was actually a really good lesson for us.

“We weren’t going to the last 11 games of the season winning every single one, so it’s a good time to understand what happens when we’re not at our best. We have to push on now and re-evaluate going into the play-offs.”

The next two sides the Wildcats are up against are Peterborough Phantoms and Hull Seahawks.

Hull have struggled in their debut campaign and currently sit second from bottom, while established club Peterborough are looking to reel in Milton Keynes Lightning in second.

Nell is looking to gain revenge on the Phantoms on home ice after a 5-2 loss at the Link Centre in October.

He said: “Peterborough is always a good game. We’ve beaten them the last two times we’ve played in their rink, but when they played at the Link earlier in the season, they beat us pretty convincingly.

“We know that we have to be at our best to beat Peterborough. They’re a tough team to play against, it’s always a really good game, and it’s a good test for us to see if we can bounce back from the previous week.”