Weekend Preview – Tough month continues with a tough weekend

It’s a tough month for the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees who will be looking to repeat their winning start to the year this weekend when they take on the Basingstoke Bison and Raiders IHC.

On Saturday the Bees travel to Basingstoke with the season series standing at 1-1 so far with both teams having won on their home ice. As the table stands it’s 3 (Bees) vs 4 (Bison).

Bison player/coach Ashley Tait leads their scoring with 35 points followed by Michal Klejna on 32 points and Richard Bordowski on 31 points. Former Bees netminder Alex Mettams, together with Bison regular, Dan Weller-Evans form the goaltending these days in Hampshire.

With the two locked so closely in the table battle this will be regarded as a must win coach by both coaches.

The day following the Bees are back on home ice as the Raiders visit again. The Raiders currently sit in fifth place in the league table, a little way behind the top four but a significant way ahead of the bottom three. Last season’s Raiders were no easy opponent and the strengthening done over the summer by Sean Easton has seen them become more competitive for 18/19 so far and capable of taking down any team in the league on their day.

Juraj Huska is top point scorer for the Raiders with 35 points from his 25 games with Jake Sylvester next in their charts with 33 points while the final line of defence is starting goaltender Ben Clemments.

The Raiders have proven tough opponents for the Bees so far this season but we’ve had a successful start to 2019 and with a Cup Semi-final clash looming it’s vital not only for the league campaign that we keep our good form rolling but also to build form, confidence and momentum ahead of the first weekend of February.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard shared his thoughts on this weekend; “We have a run of big games coming up this month, starting this Saturday in Basingstoke. On Sunday we face the Raiders at the Hive.

“We will be missing Joe Baird for the next three to four weeks who picked up an injury last weekend. We will need everyone to step their game while he’s out of the line-up.”

The Bees will skate out in Basingstoke on Saturday for a 6.30pm face-off ahead of the Sunday’s home game at the Hive against the Raiders at 6.00pm.