The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees have just a single game this weekend, on home ice at the Hive, against the Peterborough Phantoms.
The Phantoms were runners-up in the NIHL last season and went on to lose out in the conference final of the Play-offs. They are coached by Slava Koulikov who started his coaching career in Slough before transferring to Peterborough.
Peterborough’s netminding is built around Jordan Marr who signed from Fife Flyers. The season prior he played with Hull Pirates and Edinburgh Capitals as well as a season at Milton Keynes Lightning during their EPL term so has a lot of experience of the British game.
Overseas players this year are Ales Padelek and Petr Stepanek. Ales Padelek is now in his fourth season with the Phantoms after coming to the UK to join Slough Jets and following Slava Koulikov to Cambridgeshire. He scored at over a point per game in the Phantoms’ last two seasons in the EPL and carried that on with 37 points in 28 league games last season. Petr Stepanek, who replaces the departed Darius Pliskauskas, played with the Phantoms in the last season of EPL recording an impressive 63 points in 53 league games played and returns to Peterborough after putting up 62 points in 35 games in Czech 3 last season.
Other summer additions to the Phantoms line up include Harry Ferguson from Edinburgh Capitals, Callum Buglass from Cardiff Fire and Corey McEwen returning after a year out. There were promotions also for Ross Clarke and Craig Ellis from the Peterborough Under 18s.
Up front is Captain James Ferrara with his brother Robert on the blue line. Extensions were offered to Phantoms regulars Tom Norton, Will Weldon, Nathan Pollard and Scott Robson.
The Bees will be looking to return to winnings ways after being edged out in overtime against the Wildcats last Sunday. Ryan Watt returned to the line up last weekend but with Ben Paynter out the Bees are yet to have iced the entire line up altogether this season.
Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “We’re coming up on a tough run of games after just falling short to Swindon and the run doesn’t get any easier playing Peterborough. With just the one game this weekend we want to make sure we are a little more true to our game and we have to come out desperate for the two points.
“We know Peterborough are a very good side; they’re one of the few teams we haven’t seen this year so should be another good closely contested contest.”
This Saturday is a n AVSS Schools Zone game with a skate with the Bees session running at JNLC after the game. Face-off is at 6.00pm