Weekend preview – two at home this weekend

The weekend ahead is a unique one for the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees as they host two home games. Following the announcement of the dates for the Cup Semi-Final this coming Saturday will see the Bees host the Peterborough Phantoms in the re-arranged league fixture.

The Phantoms were at the Hive a couple of weeks ago and on that occasion the Bees ran out winners thanks to a 63rd minute overtime winner from Shaun Thompson. It’s a 1 vs 2 table clash coming up on Saturday that also pits four of the top five point scorers against each other in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash ahead of the Cup Semi-Final weekend in a couple of weeks.

Phantoms have Jordan Marr in net and no shortage of experience in front of him. Non-EIHA trained players Ales Padelek and Petr Stepanek both have played for the Phantoms in their EPL days along with a number of Slava Koulikov’s Brit pack on the team. Currently, they sit just ahead of the Bees in the table and both teams will be looking to not only kick on in their quest to strengthen their league positions but also to lay a marker for the Cup Semi-Final as well.

On Sunday the Basingstoke Bison are at the Hive in a return of last Saturday’s clash in Hampshire. Summer changes have stepped up the rivalry in the M3 derby for this season and so far in 2018/19 the teams are holding home advantage in the season series.

Ashley Tait (36), Richard Bordowski (35) and Russell Cowley (34) lead the Bison’s point scoring this season. Former Bees goaltender Alex Mettam takes the majority of the time between the pipes for the Bison.

January 2019 is a tough month for the Bees and ahead of this double home weekend Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “We have another tough two game weekend. With both games on home ice, four points will keep us in the hunt in a very competitive league.

These two games promise to be unmissable clashes with 3 of the current top 4 in the NIHL1 South at the Hive this weekend. Saturday’s game against Peterborough Phantoms faces off slightly later than usual with the puck drop scheduled for 6.30pm while Sunday’s visit of the Bison will face off at the regular time of 6.00pm.