Weekend Preview – Raiders then Thunder ahead

The Raiders and Thunder lie ahead for the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees this weekend as Doug Sheppard’s team looks to bounce back from a disappointing weekend.

Following tough outings against Streatham and Peterborough Doug Sheppard called for better goaltending and better discipline from his team and the Bees will be working hard on training this week to get back to playing their style of hockey and back to winning ways.

The weekend starts at Sapphire Ice in Romford to face the Raiders. The Raiders are coached by Sean Easton and have no shortage of experience in their line up.

Goaltending is covered by Michael Gray and Ben Clemments. In front of them, Dan Scott leads the defence which includes elite league experienced John Connolly alongside Sean Barry, Jack Cooper, Callum Wells, Julian Smith and Callum Bartlett who’s on the radar for GB Under 20s, selected as a reserve for their upcoming competition.

Aaron Connolly is the team captain and is joined up front, carrying on the family tradition, by JJ Pitchley who has become a regular fixture in the lineup like his father used to be patrolling the blue line. Others playing up front include Filip Sedivy, Matt Turner, Brandon Ayliffe, Mason Webster, Juraj Huska and Martin Jakubek. A recent addition to the Raiders side is Ashley Jackson who finished last season with Invicta.

Following the trip to Romford the Bees ice at home on Sunday against the Milton Keynes Thunder. It’s been a tough start to the season for the Buckinghamshire club as despite boasting a decent amount of EPL experienced players on the roster they sit in seventh place with just a win and an overtime loss making up their 3 points.

Ollie Stone, Jamie Line, Grant McPherson, Ross Green, Tom Carlon, Greg Randall, Ross Bowers, Gareth O’Flaherty and Tom Annetts all have experience playing in the EPL before it’s demise and Jordan Lawday is one of the best upcoming Brit goalies but, to date, something hasn’t clicked and they find themselves 10 points adrift of the sixth place team.

Head Coach Lewis Clifford will be keen to get his team firing soon and make ground on the top six.

Looking to the weekend Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “We can’t dwell on last weekend, it’s important that we have a positive response starting with a tough game at London. Realistically we aren’t going to win every game but we must learn a lesson from both our previous results.”

The Bees face-off at 5.15pm on Saturday in Romford and at 6.00pm on Sunday, at the Hive against the Thunder.