Weekend preview – Phantoms and Dogs lie ahead

The TSI World Bracknell Bees have a tough weekend ahead with Peterborough Phantoms being the Saturday opponents and Sheffield Steeldogs the Sunday opponents.

Saturday sees the Bees head to Peterborough for the teams’ fourth meeting of the season. With both teams having played each other at home this game is for just league points. Bees started the rivalry this season with a 5-4 win on home ice before Phantoms took the next two games.

The Phantoms sit third in the league and Petr Stepanek is the top point scorer with 33 points from 20 games. Martins Susters is their next leading scorer with 31 from 20 games and Ales Padelek comes in third with 27 points from the same number of games.

Netminding is being taken care of by Jordan Marr, backed up by Ryan Bainborough.

On Sunday the Bees meet the Steeldogs for the first time since the EPL clashes meaning it’s a league and cup game. Whilst there’s been some time since the teams last met there are still some familiar names in the Steeldogs roster with goaltending still being handled by Dmitri Zimozdra alongside Zack Brown and Curtis Warburton.

Familiar names in defence include Thomas Barry, Lewis Bell, Ben Morgan and Thomas Relf. Morgan is now player/coach while Bell is the team captain.

Up front the Steeldogs benefit from the experience of Jan Danecek and Vladimir Luka, both born in the Czech Republic. Nathan Salam has played a lot of senior hockey too as well as James Spurr and Craig Elliot.

Nathan Salem is the club’s top point scorer with 33 points under his belt from 19 games, their next point accumulator is Vladimir Luka with 22 points and Alex Graham being in third place with 18 points all from 19 games.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard commented; “Our main focus will be putting together a full 60 minutes per game. I thought we had a really good four periods over the weekend but we need to start putting together six good periods if we’re to achieve a 4 point weekend. There’s no reason to come out flat at home so that’s also something we’ll be working on.”

Bees play a 7pm face-off in Peterborough with the Sunday fixture at the Hive being a 5.30pm face-off. Tickets can be bought for Sunday’s home game on 01344 789000.

In a reminder to supporters the M4 motorway will be closed again this weekend between Junctions 6 (Slough) and 8/9 (Maidenhead) so supporters are encouraged to avoid the area if possible when travelling to games and allow extra time for journeys.