It’s the final weekend of the regular season and this weekend the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees are in Swindon on Saturday night ahead of their home clash with the Raiders on Sunday night.
The eyes of the league will be on Saturday’s game as the Wildcats need a single point to win the 18/19 NIHL South Division 1 so anything other than a regulation time loss will see Wiltshire celebrating.
Heading into the series it’s 3-2 in the Bees favour so far from the season head to head.
Wildcats have Renny Marr in net and strength in defence and the forwards ahead of their goaltender too. Max Birbrear leads the league in scoring with 67 points to date with Chris Jones in fourth place with 61 points. It’s been a comparatively quiet season for player/coach Aaron Nell points-wise with 47 points to his credit so far this season.
On Sunday the Bees are at home for the final game of the 18/19 season in what will be a preview of the following weekend’s opening week of the Play-offs. The Raiders are locked in 5th in the table with the Bees locked in 4th meaning the two will be first round play-off opponents.
Juraj Huska has been the most productive of the Raiders this year with 48 points with Aaron Connolly next with 45 points. Ben Clemments takes the majority of the starts in net.
Neither Bees nor Raiders can alter their table position in this final weekend of the regular season but with a mouth-watering clash between the two home and away the following weekend in the first weekend of knock-out play-off action this Sunday is sure to be a hotly contested game.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard spoke to preview the weekend; “We’ve had a tough stretch of games recently and it’s not going to get any easier when we face Swindon on Saturday. We’ve played well in spurts, it’s time to put a full sixty minutes together.”
Bees play in Swindon at 6.15 on Saturday and at the Hive on Sunday against the Raiders at 6.00.