MORALE is at an all-time high in Swindon Wildcats’ locker room ahead of this weekend’s fixtures against London Raiders and Streatham Storm, according to two-way forward Toms Rutkis.

The 21-year-old left shooter has registered as many points as appearances for the Link Centre outfit this season, while also juggling his commitments in Wiltshire with ice time for Elite League leaders Cardiff Devils.

Rutkis starred last weekend as Wildcats established a six-point lead at the top of the NIHL South One table following two victories over title rivals Basingstoke Bison.

Both wins, coupled with Peterborough Phantoms’ loss against London Raiders, leaves Aaron Nell’s side firmly in the driving seat to lift the Britton Conference Championship with six fixtures remaining.

Having turned around their woeful festive form by going on an unbeaten run stretching back until late December, Rutkis revealed morale in the camp has reached its highest point – partly thanks to the thousand-plus fans that showed their support on Saturday night.

He said: “Morale in the team right now is great, it’s probably the best it has been so far this season.

“We have to make sure we play as hard as we can in every game, because it’s getting to that stage of the season now where points are valuable.

“The fans really do help, especially in the last period where we can start to get a little tired.

“When they cheer us on, it does give us that extra boost to finish the game off.”

Last weekend’s four points could be argued as Wildcats’ biggest back-to-back wins of the season, with Bison’s title hopes severely dented.

The ball is now firmly in Swindon’s court, with one game remaining against both Bracknell and Basingstoke while the other fixtures are made up of ties against bottom half teams MK Thunder, Streatham and London Raiders.

Rutkis described the weekend just past as huge for Swindon, and said there can be no room for complacency this weekend when hosting London Raiders tonight (6.15pm) before travelling to face Streatham tomorrow.

“The weekend was huge for us, we’re looking good right now in first place,” said Rutkis.

“Basingstoke and Peterborough aren’t far behind, so we have to make sure we do everything we can to stay in the lead.

“We worked hard last weekend to get the wins.

“I’m pleased with own personal performances, I’ve had some good times at Cardiff too.

“It is hard playing for Swindon and Cardiff, but I feel my personal progression is where I want it to be.”