9th of November 2017
Weekend Preview - Another tough weekend aheadThe Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison start another weekend on home ice as they face off against former EPL rivals Swindon Wildcats this Saturday at the Basingstoke Arena.
Doug Sheppard’s men are currently enjoying a successful run despite an ever present injury list which saw Josh Smith and Stuart Mogg sit out last weekend’s games but Grant Rounding did make a successful return with a goal in his personal tally.
There is similarity in the 17/18 Wildcats roster to their 16/17 which will no doubt please the Swindon fans. The Wiltshire outfit did however lose Stevie Lyle who didn’t return for the new season meaning netminding duties will now be covered by Renny Marr and Matthew Smital this season.
The Wildcats defence has a familiarity with Ollie Stone, Steve Whitfield, Neil Liddiard and Ben Nethersall all returning this year and being joined by Sam Zajac and Joseph Hazeldine.
Player / Coach Aaron Nell returns to dual duties this year after injury ended his 16/17 season early. He’s brought back Wildcats stalwarts Floyd Taylor and Sam Bullas. There were changes last year in the Wildcats and a number of the summer 2016 signatures have again put pen to paper seeing Jordan Kelsall and Phil Hill both return.
Both non EIHA trained player spots are used up front with Maxim Bibraer playing his second season in Wildcats colours and Jan Kostal his fifth term. The last four of those five have been with the C on his chest.
Additions up front see Luc Johnson join from Milton Keynes and Cardiff born Chris Jones join up.
Bison continue to nurse their injury crisis. Some of the sidelined players are close to returning but decisions will be made closer to the game.
On Sunday it’s a reverse of last Saturday’s fixture as the Stampede rolls to Milton Keynes to face the Thunder.
A so far perfect start in the NIHL Britton division sees Basingstoke sit two points adrift of the top of the table with 3 games in hand over the current leaders with Sunday’s league fixture a chance to continue that winning run and close in on the top spot.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “We’re coming in off a really good weekend of hockey and we know we have to be at our best to pick up points against Swindon. Then Sunday is our first visit to MK who I’m will show us a different team in their own rink to we saw last Saturday.”
“We know we have two tough games this weekend, we need to carry on playing the way that we have the last couple of weekends which have seen us get some good results.”
Speaking of his teams injuries he continued; “We're still keeping an eye on injuries but won't be rushing anyone back. With the Buffalo playing on Saturday too we could be quite light on numbers but we've played light before this season and the team has dug deep to cover that so I’m hopeful we’ll show great team spirit and the guys that are playing will deep that bit deeper again.”
Both games this weekend are 6.30pm Face-offs. Tickets for Saturday’s home game can be bought by clicking this link.