Weekend preview – Tough games keep on coming

This weekend the TSI World Bracknell Bees take on Swindon Wildcats and Peterborough Phantoms.

Saturday, on the road, sees the third meeting between the Bees and Wildcats in three weeks. Two of those meetings will have been at the Link Centre with the Bees running out winners in the other, on home ice, just before Christmas.

The Wildcats are 3-2 in their last five outings and currently occupy 2nd place in the NIHL National table. Aaron Nell leads the Wildcats scoring and sits second in the league scoring stats with a return of 32+29 from 32 games. Tomas Malasinski (19+35 from 28 games) and Edgars Bebris (22+21 from 32 games) follow just behind. Goaltending is, as ever, taken care of by Renny Marr.

The Wildcats have consistently held second spot in the league table for a number of weeks despite a mini-slump in former around the Christmas period.

On Sunday it’s the Peterborough Phantoms who visit the Hive. They sit fourth in the league table. Phantoms have won two, but lost the last three of their last five games against Milton Keynes, Basingstoke and Telford despite a six goal third period comeback.

Non EIHA trained Ales Padelek is the leading points producer for Slava Koulikov’s Phantoms returning 28+23 from 33 games. Following are captain James Ferrara (12+33 from 33) and Petr Stepanek (19+24 from 30 games).

Jordan Marr guards the net for the Phantoms, ably backed up by Ryan Bainborough.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard previewed the upcoming games by saying; “With the holidays over, it’s back to our normal training schedule. Yes we have a tough weekend, there isn’t an easy game in this league. Regardless of our opponents we need to start picking up points every weekend.”

Bees play in Swindon on Saturday night at 6.15 with Sunday’s home game against Peterborough facing off at 5.30pm at the Hive.