Weekend Preview – Back At It with Phantoms and Thunder

Following their return to action in the Young Epilepsy Challenge midweek the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees are back in league play this weekend when they face Peterborough Phantoms and Milton Keynes Thunder.

The first Saturday of 2019 has the Bees on home ice against the high flying Peterborough Phantoms. The Phantoms currently sit second in the league but with identical points to the league leaders and four games in hand so this is a massive game for the Bees against a fellow contender.

Slava Koulikov’s side so far has the upper hand in the season series but Doug Sheppard added Tyler VanKleef to his line up since the teams last met and ended 2018 with a 4 point weekend against the league leading Swindon Wildcats with the new addition in his team.

Koulikov’s team are backed by Jordan Marr in net with a strong defence and depth in their forward ranks. James Ferrara is their leading scorer on 33 points with Ales Padelek just behind with 31 points. Jordan Marr has an impressive 4 shut outs in the net to go with his 92.60% save percentage.

Saturday is bound to be a tough game at the Hive to re-start the league in 2019.

On Sunday the Bees hit the road to face the Milton Keynes Lightning. 2018 was a tough year for the club both on and off the ice. On the ice, they’ve returned just 4 wins and an overtime loss but off the ice, they’ve battled for survival with a fundraising campaign just reaching it’s target at the 11th hour.

Whilst the long-term future of the club remains unknown Lewis Clifford will be keen to get his charges together to make a push for more points in the run in for this season. There’s talent in the locker room which makes the nine points earned so far a bit of a mystery.

Looking ahead to the return to competitive action Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “We have some big games coming up, none bigger than this Saturday against Peterborough. We need two points if we want to keep pace with the top teams in the league.

The Bees are on home ice on Saturday at 6pm against the Phantoms ahead of the 6.45pm face-off on Sunday in Milton Keynes.