Bison face Wildcats double bill

BASINGSTOKE, UK – A double dose of the Swindon Wildcats is next up for the Bison this weekend.
Earlier in the season the ’Cats enjoyed a 2-0 victory over the Herd at the Basingstoke Arena.
It was Basingstoke-born Dean Skinns who celebrated his birthday with a shut-out against a team he had made over 200 appearances for them.
It was Swedish import Jonas Hoog who scored both goals and this still remains the Bison’s only home loss this season.
The first game is in Swindon on Saturday, with the return 24 hours later in Basingstoke.
The Herd’s away form has been mixed, while the Swindon have lost their last two home games after shoot-outs having won the previous two so it should be a close game.
Last Saturday, Basingstoke returned briefly went back to the top of the EPL after a 3-1 home victory over leaders going into the weekend Manchester Phoenix.
The Bison made the most of their early chances as Joe Rand and Doug Sheppard scored.
Ciaran Long gave the Phoenix a lifeline, but Sheppard’s second on the powerplay was enough to win the game.
“This was our best performance of the season. Everyone played their part and I was very pleased with the way the game went,” said Bison player/coach Sheppard.
However, 24 hours later the Herd’s chances of staying top went up in smoke as they lost 6-2 at reigning champions Guildford.
This extended their losing streak at the Surrey rink to eight league and play-off games.
The home side were two goals to the good by the first buzzer from David Savage and Paul Dixon.
It became 3-0 thanks to a third goal from a defenseman when Jez Lundin scored.
The Bison then hit back as Andy Melachrino scored the first ever goal for the Bison and Joe Miller added a second and they looked back in the game.
That was all to change just three minutes later as Stuart Potts scored and then further strikes from Rick Plant and David Longstaff made sure the game was over by the second interval.
“It was very disappointing we did not show the intensity we had the night before,” said Sheppard.    
After another mixed weekend, the Bison boss is keen for us side to bounce back and on Saturday the game counts as an EPL Cup as well so making the result even more important.
Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com

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