SWINDON Wildcats felt the burn as they were shut down by the Manchester Phoenix in north Wales this evening.

Aaron Nell’s side were unable to produce anything close to resembling their best as they were humbled 5-0 at the Deeside Leisure Centre, with the hosts fully negating Cats’ offensive impetus as the visitors ended their weekend on a disappointing bum note.

The two teams played cat and mouse in the opening stages, right up until two Phoenix men combined to allow Martin Baranek to glide in and unleash a strike at goal, with Stevie Lyle staying big to beat away the Czech forward’s effort.

At the halfway point of the opening period, the home side stole a march as Michal Satek and Stanislav Gron went hunting in the Wildcats zone and teed up Trent Hope, who forced the puck past Lyle from point-blank range.

Carlo Finuccci drew a fine stop from Manchester goalie Stephen Fone as Swindon looked to hit back on the power play but at the end of that penalty, Manchester doubled their lead with a stirring counter-attack.

Satek played the puck off the wall to glide past an opponent on the break before offloading to James Archer, who dispatched his side’s second of the evening with aplomb to leave Swindon shaken.

The visitors weren’t able to muster anything resembling a fightback before the first break of the evening and in the second period, the home side continued to look dangerous, with Gron hammering a powerful slapshot down the throat of Lyle.

Saturday evening’s hat-trick hero Tomasz Malasinski fired inches wide up the other end of the rink as the visitors attempted to hit back but it was mostly one-way traffic directed at Lyle’s goal as the period wore on.

On one rare foray forward, home netminder Fone used his helmet to knock away a strike from the Wildcats’ Owen Griffiths and that opportunity sparked a sudden sea change, with a flurry of chances falling the visitors’ way.

Fone kept out Nell after he was smartly picked out by Hoog and both the Cats player-coach and Finucci both had further efforts kept out as the Pheonix goalie continued to come up trumps, with the stopper also keeping out Adam Harding and Malasinki.

But Swindon’s mini-revival was cruelly killed off as Callum Buglass had his pocket picked by Robin Kovar, who strode forward and slotted away goal number three for Manchester.

Moments later, an unopposed Hoog was preparing himself for what he must have expected to be a simple finish after he was picked out by Finucci in front of goal but the Swede saw Fone extend every sinew in his body to pull off the save of the night.

Lyle produced his own snapshot moment early in the third period as he superbly kept out Gareth O’Flaherty’s strike but he was soon beaten as Satek turned Kovar’s drive into the net to make it 4-0 to the Phoenix.

Then, just seconds after Lee Richardson picked up a penalty, Manchester grabbed their fifth with a power play goal, Satek slamming an unstoppable strike home to grab his second of the evening and round off a demoralising day evening for Swindon.