11th of December 2019
Home & Away But at Home V's the Leeds ChiefsThis weekends NIHL National league fixtures see the Trane Basingstoke Bison facing the Leeds Chiefs, at home on Saturday, face off 6.30pm, and then Leeds Chiefs away (but on home ice) on Sunday, with a 5.30pm face off.
Saturday’s home game sees the leagues new boys making their first trip to the Silverdome arena. To say Leeds have endured a trying start in their NIHL debut season would be something of an understatement. The opening of the new rink in Leeds has been delayed due to building issues, therefore they have either had to play their home games in Blackburn or Widnes or concede ‘home’ advantage by playing home games in the opponents rink, as is the situation this weekend.
Despite all of these problems, Head Coach Sam Zajac has assembled a competitive roster with an average age of 25.15, seasoned Bison fans will recall Zajac playing 54 EPL games for the Herd during the 2009/10 season.
They are captained by the experienced Defender Luke Boothroyd, who Bison fans will remember from his 9 seasons with Manchester Phoenix between 2008 to 2016. The other former Phoenix player in the Chiefs roster is James Archer (2010-16).
Import forward Radek Meidl from the Czech Rep leads the Chiefs points scoring with 28 (11+17), Meidl made 46 Elite league appearances for MKL during 2018/19, while Archer has 27 pts (9+18).
Young British forward Adam Barnes, aged just 20, has 22 pts from 19 games (14+8), Barnes iced in 50 EIHL games for Manchester Storm during 2018/19.
The Chiefs have been very disciplined this season picking up just 326 penalty minutes in 20 games, only Swindon with 256 minutes have a better record in this aspect of the game.
Adam Barnes with 52 PIM’s heads the naughty boy chart, followed by Richard Bentham on 40.
Net minding ice time has been shared between former Telford keeper Sam Gospel and Miles Finney, formerly of Nottingham Lions.
In addition to Boothroyd and Zajac, the Chiefs defence includes former Steeldog Steve Duncombe, and Lewis Baldwin who although only 20 yers old, has EPL experience with both Phoenix and Steeldogs, plus over 60 NIHL appearances with Solway & Blackburn.
Note: This game has been chosen for the annual Toss the Teddy event, with all the Bears being donated to Naomi House Children’s Hospice. So remember to bring along your bear, please wrap it in a plastic bag and after the first home goal, launch it onto the ice.
Sunday’s game against the Chiefs means a road trip with a difference................
To the Silverdome in Basingstoke, for those Bison fans thinking of making the journey, the rink is situated in the Leisure Park, the postcode is RG22 6PG for anyone needing to use their Sat Nav.