SWINDON Wildcats made it back-to-back wins with a 5-3 victory over Manchester Phoenix at the Link Centre.

Matt Selby put the hosts in front in the latter stages of the first period before Ben Wood cancelled that out in the dying seconds.

Nico Aaltonen caught Swindon napping at the start of the second period before Aaron Nell hauled the hosts back level four minutes later.

Swindon were back in the lead through Corey McEwen’s first goal at the Link Centre, before Michael Stratford extended the hosts lead before the end of the second period.

Tomasz Malasinski gave Swindon a good cushion four minutes into the third period and it proved enough to start the weekend with two points, despite a late strike from James Archer.

Swindon welcomed back Adam Harding to their roster, who had missed the start of the campaign with a shoulder injury, while Manchester were still without captain Stanislav Gron.

It was a scrappy first period as neither side were able to take control of proceedings.

Stevie Lyle picked himself in goal but in the opening exchanges it was his opposite number Stephen Fone who was the busier of the stoppers.

Swindon were able to kill a power play after Malasinski was given a two minute penalty for slashing.

The game then sparked into life as a wonderful team goal got the hosts off the mark in the 19th minute.

Aaron Nell drove towards behind the goal before dropping the puck back for Miroslav Zalesak, whose feint flick set up Selby perfectly to score his first goal in a Swindon Wildcats jersey.

The lead was short-lived however; as Wood got the hosts back level 14 seconds before the buzzer sounded.

Wood hit a fierce shot from an angle which Lyle was unable to hold onto and Robin Kovar was in position in front of the net to put pressure on the goalie before the loose puck fell to Wood who drove home at the second time of asking.

Phoenix started the second period brightly and were rewarded when Aaltonen was found in space by Kovar before netting.

Swindon took a while to respond but Nell was able to drag his side back level when he linked up well with Zalesak in the 25th minute.

Lyle was called into action when he was left one-on-one with Kovar, but was able to deny him with an outstretched stick, before Wildcats went down the opposite end to restore their lead.

Selby had the shot from the blue line which was blocked but fell straight to McEwen who fired home from close range.

Swindon extended their lead in the 37th minute as Sam Bullas was able to flick the puck through his legs to find Stratford in space in front of Fone’s net to score.

The second period ended with Lee Richardson and Neil Liddiard in the bin for the hosts, while Kovar was in the bin for diving, but Swindon were able to kill the power-play before extending their lead in the third period.

Sami Ryhanen picked off a loose Neil pass before being unselfish and setting up Malasinski for his first goal of the game, before Archer grabbed a late consolation with 17 seconds remaining.