Weekend preview – Final pre-Christmas games

The last weekend before Christmas is another tough one for the TSI World Bracknell Bees, starting on the road in Peterborough before returning to home ice to face Swindon at the Hive.

Saturday is an exciting prospect with the Phantoms hosting the Bees and the season series standing at 2-2 to date. The Phantoms currently sit in third place in the table with three of the league’s top 10 point scorers in their ranks.

Slava Koulikov moved last summer to return his dominant team of 18/19 to the club and Ales Padelek leads the scoring with 18+20 from 26 games. Petr Stepanek follows with 16+21 (25 games) and Martins Susters 18+18 (26 games) with captain James Ferrara just outside the league top 10 with 10+25 (26 games).

Goaltending for the Phantoms is looked after by Jordan Marr who ties with his brother (Swindon’s Renny Marr) leading the league on 3 shut-outs this year so far.

On Sunday the Bees will skate out on home ice in their 2019 Christmas jersey to take on Swindon Wildcats.

Player Coach Aaron Nell has his team locked into a battle with the Tigers at the top of the table although it’s the team in orange currently a little way ahead. The Wildcats have a record of 17 wins, 5 losses and 2 overtime losses so far in the inaugural National League Campaign.

Tomasz Malasinki is league’s second top point scorer with 16+33 from 24 games followed by Nell himself on 25+22 from the same number of games. Renny Marr takes care of the bulk of the netminding for the Wildcats.

Bees recent signing Dominik Gabaj is closing in on his colleagues with 13+6 from just 7 games scoring at 2.71 points per game with fellow recent joiner Caly Robertson also making a positive start.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard looked ahead to the weekend; “We have a tough weekend before the Christmas break. It’s important that we stay focused and finish the first half on a high.”

Bees play a 7.00pm face-off on Saturday in Peterborough. Sunday is an AVSS School Zone game with plenty of Christmas themed activities taking place around the Hive. Face-off is 5.30pm and tickets can be purchased in advance on 01344 789000.