BASINGSTOKE, UK – It was another split weekend for the Bison saw them slip down to fourth in the EPL Cup standings as things begin to heat up for qualification for the semi-finals of the competition.
The weekend started so well for the Bison with a 5-2 win over visiting Telford Tigers, but then the Herd came unstuck at Peterborough Phantoms losing 5-4.
In the victory over Telford, the Herd trailed for the first 12 minutes to a goal from Gareth O’Flaherty.
However, by the first buzzer Joe Greener and Joe Miller had the home side ahead.
The Bison added fifth from Aaron Connolly, before James Peece’s powerplay strike completed the scoreline.
Sunday night’s road trip to Peterborough saw the visitors 2-0 down at the first break as Erik Piatak and Frantisek Zubek both scored.
The Bison leveled the game on 44:10 thanks to Miller and Joe Rand only for Piatak to score again and then a blue line boomer from Marcel Petran made it 4-2.
Basingstoke captain Nicky Chinn pulled a goal back, but Jaroslav Cesky restored Peterborough’s two goal lead.
The Bison pulled man-of-the-match Dean Skinns and netted with the extra skater from Rand in the final two minutes.
They tried to repeat the trick seconds later, but Peterborough held on for the win.
“We started both games slowly and against Telford we were able to still get the win, but in Peterborough being two goals down left us too much to do,” said Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.
Sheppard is now looking for his side to bounce back to winning ways on Saturday, but it is not going to easy as they face early leaders Manchester who boast an impressive nine and one record so far.
The Bison won all three meetings on home ice last year to end a run of four straight losses against the Phoenix on home ice.
The following day, the Bison travel to basement side Bracknell for their first local derby match-up in the Hive.
In recent years, it has proved to be a tough place for the Bison and for sure the Bees will not make it easy for them.
The Herd have lost on their last two opening visits of the season and have only won twice in their last six visits.
Bracknell were narrowly beaten 2-1 in a shoot-out on Sunday, by Swindon and have certainly cured the leaky defense of the opening few weeks of the season.
Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com