Photo (C) Jo Loat

By Simon Church

The first weekend of National League hockey in 2022 sees the GalxC Cooling Services sponsored Basingstoke Bison at home to MK Lightning on New Years Day, before then making a short trip east to the Slough Ice Arena the following day, where they will play Bees IHC, formerly the Bracknell Bees.

Firstly we welcome Milton Keynes Lightning to the Silverdome on Saturday evening, face off for this game is 6.30pm.

MKL are captained by Russ Cowley and currently occupy 3rd place in the league on 27 points, having won 13 out of their 20 games and gained a point from a penalty shootout loss in Telford.

Leading the scoring for the Lightning unsurprisingly is Bobby Chamberlain, with 38 points (17+21) from 17 games. The net minding duties have been shared between Brandon Stones and Matt Smital, Stones has a slightly better save percentage at 90.9% while Smital’s is 88.7%, both have played in 17 games.

Sunday’s game in Slough has a face off time of 5.00pm.

Bees IHC are captained by ex-Bison Stuart Mogg and sit 9th at present, accruing 13 points from 20 games, courtesy of 6 wins and an overtime loss in Swindon.

(C) Jo Loat

Bees’ leading points scorer is their impressive import, Dominik Gabaj, with 32 points (18+14) from 20 games. He is followed by Edward Bradley, the young defender weighing in with 22 points (6+16) and in terms of goals scored, after Gabaj the next best is another ex-Bison Josh Smith, who has netted 8 times in 15 games.

Adam Goss (89.7%) and Curtis Warburton (85.6%) are the net minding duo, Goss making 19 appearances, Warburton 14.

The Bison will be coming into the weekend on the back of 2 wins against top of the table Swindon, which were achieved despite missing 5 of their regular starters.

No doubt confidence and expectations will be high amongst Bison fans, although as has been shown this season, anyone can beat anyone on a given night. Of course Ash & the boys know they need to be 100% ready from the puck drop on Saturday through to the final buzzer on Sunday.

The same applies to fans of the Herd, you all know the routine…………. Loud, Louder, Loudest.

Tickets are available for the New Years day game by clicking the following link

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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