Bison share series ahead of EPL opener

BASINGSTOKE, UK – The Bison tied both their pre-season games against the reigning EPL champions Guildford Flames last weekend.
While the Flames had made few changes during the summer, the Herd with new player/coach Doug Sheppard in charge have nearly a completely new roster with fellow Canadians forwards Greg Chambers and Joe Rand joining, along with giant Czech D-man Tomas Fojtik.
New British goalies Steve Lyle and Connor Standing, defensemen Carl Graham, Zach Sullivan and Alex Symonds along with forwards Greg Owen and Andy Melachrino give the Herd a completely new look.
So it was good to see the side do so well in their first outings and in the first game on home side they drew 2-2 with one of the Bison returnees Joe Miller scoring both goals including the opener and the second equaliser.
In between those goals Curtis Huppe and Nathan Rempel had netted for Guildford to give them the lead.
The following night the game ended 1-1 with Chambers giving the Bison the lead and Jozef Kohut making sure honours were shared.
Basingstoke may feel they can take more out of Sunday’s draw as they were minus one of their imports Sheppard.
He had in fact been forced out on his second shift of the game on Saturday night.
“I was pleased with the weekend and think we did well in both games,” said Sheppard who watched the second game from the bench.
The Bison will hope to Sheppard will be fit for their EPL opener against Bracknell Bees on home ice.
The Bees include three of last season’s Herd in Ollie Bronnimann, Sam Oakford and Marcel Petran which will add extra spice to the game.
Since Basingstoke joined the EPL three years ago the Bees have never won in Basingstoke which makes it nine straight loses.
Bracknell lost both their pre-season games to Slough scoring just once in both games.
On Sunday night, the Bison head to one of the fancied teams for the title the Manchester Phoenix.
However, the Altrincham Ice Dome has proved to be a happy hunting ground over the years and last season they won twice there losing the first game in overtime.
Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com

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