Weekend preview – Pre-season challenge with the Raiders

Following a split weekend with Swindon TSI World Bracknell Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard leads his team into a second pre-season challenge with Raiders IHC.

On Saturday the Bees are on home ice and the following evening they travel to Romford.

With 120 minutes hockey already played the team will be focusing on using this weekend’s challenge series to get themselves ready for the league opener next weekend.

The Raiders, like the Bees, have made the move to NIHL National but have lost some players who have transferred to Chelmsford and Invicta. Upfront they have Captain Aaron Connolly who, at the age of 26, already has over 350 senior games under his belt and a proven winning record. The impressive Bhlahosav Novak has also been retained.

With both non-EIHA trained players departing over the summer utility player Marek Malinsky has joined up to play as a forward and left winger Lukas Sladkovsky completes the permitted import slots.

The defence is led by Dan Scott with a quite familiar look to it. Goaltending is again led by Michael Gray.

There is a youthful feel to the Raiders roster this season with a number of players still at the start of their journeys.

Head Coach Doug Sheppard looks forward to the weekend; “We need to come out Saturday night with a good performance on our home ice. There were a lot of positives from last Saturday and we’ll be working hard this week making adjustments to the game we played last Sunday.

Bees play at The Hive on Saturday night at 6.30pm. The following night they play at Sapphire Arena in a 5.15pm face-off.