Hot on the footsteps of last weekends successful pair of pre-season games against Raiders IHC, this coming weekend sees the GlaxC Cooling Services sponsored Basingstoke Bison begin their NIHL Autumn Cup campaign with games against Peterborough Phantoms and Telford Tigers.
First up are the Phantoms on Saturday night, face off at the Silverdome is 6.30pm.
(C) John Scott
Coached by the respected Slava Koulikov and captained by the experienced Will Weldon, they have brought in a number of new faces since that game 18 months ago.
Most well known to fans of the Herd would be Luc Johnson previously with MK Lightning & Swindon Wildcats, Duncan Spiers who signed from EIHL side Dundee Stars, although he has played against the Bison for the Sheffield Steeldogs and Tom Barry, another former Steeldogs player.
Always willing to give youth an opportunity, Slava has promoted 16 year old D-Man Billy Thorpe to the Phantoms roster from their U18 team and signed 18 year old forward Jasper Foster from Swindon where he iced for the Cougars and the Wildcats NIHL 2 side.
Exciting forward Morgan Clarke-Pizzo age 21, has signed on a 2 way from Nottingham Panthers and is the son of former Panthers & GB legend Dave Clarke. He impressed many on his debut against MK Lightning at the weekend.
Sunday will see the Bison make the long trip to Shropshire to take on the Telford Tigers, face off for this game is 6pm.
(C) Jack Roebuck
Coached by Tom Watkins and captained by the long serving Jason Silverthorn, Tigers have a roster packed with experience in addition to Silverthorn, their team includes Rick Plant, Jonathon Weaver, Scott McKenzie and Andy McKinney.
Watkins has added the following new faces for 2021/22, Ross Connolly signed from Raiders IHC, Deakan Fielder most recently with Bracknell Bees, while Basingstoke-born net minder Jordan Lawday has made the move from Milton Keynes Lightning.
17 year old Jack Hopkins joins the Tigers from Nottingham Lions and for Solihull-born Jake Price, aged 21, Telford will be his first British team, having played only in North America.
No doubt any team coached by Koulikov or Watkins will be very well organised, therefore two tough tests await Ash and the boys as they look to get off to a positive start in the Autumn Cup competition.