Weekend review – Pre-season weekend one

The TSI World Bracknell Bees brushed off the cobwebs ahead of the 2019/20 NIHL National season by splitting a pre-season series against the Swindon Wildcats.

Doug Sheppard’s side kick-started their season in perfect fashion with a come-from-behind victory at the Link Centre on Saturday with a 5-4 triumph.

Luc Johnson opened the scoring for the hosts but the response was swift from the Bees, Roman Malinik finding the back of the net of the power play just over three minutes later as the sides went in level at the end of the first.

Aidan Doughty continued his impressive form from the previous season to put the Bees into the lead with just three minutes gone in the second – but strikes from Chris Jones and Edgars Bebris left the black, white and gold with it all to do in the third.

Robin Kovar announced himself to the Bees fan base with a well-taken short handed goal to level the scores, although Aaron Nell thought he would have the last laugh by putting the reigning NIHL 1 South league champions back in front.

However, Joe Baird and Edwards Knaggs would turn the tables in the visitors favour, the winner coming with just over two minutes remaining as the Bess saw out the rest of the game with ease.

It was a different story on Sunday night though as the Wildcats roared into a four goal lead by the end of the first period. A double from Bebris sandwiched by strikes from Lloris Taylor and Nell putting the Bees on the back foot.

Jones would make it two goals in two goals with less than a minute remaining in the second as Danny Milton and the Bees defence began to hold firm.

Nell would put a sixth of the night on the board before Malinik gave the home fans something to cheer about as he netted a short handed breakaway to break the deadlock for the hosts at the Hive in the new season.

The TSI World Bracknell Bees continue their preparations for the new season when they welcome the Raiders to the Hive on Saturday 14th September with a new face-off time of 6.15pm.