Weekend Preview – Must win games

This weekend the TSI World Bracknell Bees make their first trip to the new Leeds arena to face the Chiefs ahead of a visit from the Phantoms to the Hive.

On Saturday the long trip North happens ahead of a 7pm face-off with the tenth placed Leeds Chiefs. It’s been a tough first season for the Chiefs, playing most of their first season without their home arena. They’ll be looking to put in a strong finish to the season as they look ahead to building momentum locally for the 20/21 season.

The Chiefs have recorded just 12 wins in their opening campaign but two of those have come in their last five games giving them and 2-3 form ranking as they head into the weekend.

Adam Barnes leads the scoring with 24+23 from 37 games followed closely by James Archer with 16+29 from just 20 games. In net, Sam Gospel has taken the majority of ice time this season posting a shut-out in his record.

On Sunday night it’s the Peterborough Phantoms opposing the Bees. The Phantoms have the cup final coming up to look forward to but also a chance to secure either the runners up spot in the league or at an outside chance, on a run, the league title.

Phantoms sit in third with 58 points, with a game in hand on both Swindon and Telford. The Wildcats have a 3 point advantage while the Tigers are 6 points clear of the Phantoms.

Slava Koulikov’s team are the form team right now, the only team in the league to have a perfect 5-0 from their last five outings. Ales Padelek sits fifth in the overall league points table, leading the Phantoms with 32 goals and 35 assists and just 14 PiMs from 43 games. Next productive for the Phantoms is Martins Susters with 61 points from 40 games and Petr Stepanek with 59 from 40 games.

Both teams pose the challenge for the Bees this weekend as they need to rebuild the momentum they had heading into last weekend following the single point weekend with the Raiders.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard explained; “Our weekend starts in Leeds who have been playing well lately. We return home Sunday against Peterborough who we’re familiar with. We’re running out of games and every game is a must win situation. I have belief in our group and I’m confident we’ll be in the playoffs.

Bees play Leeds Chiefs on Saturday at 7pm and play Phantoms on Sunday, at the Hive, at 5.30pm.  You can buy your tickets for Sunday via 01344 789000 or http://skate.jnlbracknell.co.uk/