Double win start for Bison

BASINGSTOKE, UK – The Bison enjoyed back-to-back wins to open Doug Sheppard’s EPL reign back in charge at Basingstoke.
It was the first time since 2001 that the Herd had managed to win their opening two league games.
For the second season running the first weekend served up a home game with Bracknell Bees followed by a road trip to Manchester Phoenix.
The Bees expected to be at the wrong end of the table put up a brave fight in Basingstoke with a gritty style of play and even out shot the home side 27-26.
This was all in vain as Bison’s Canadian import Greg Chambers turned in a master class of finishing scoring twice and also set-up his side’s third goal scored by Alex Symonds, on his way to the man-of-the-match beers.
The second goal of the 4-1 victory was netted by another Canadian Joe Rand a summer signing from Wightlink Raiders so stepping up a tier in British hockey.
All eyes are on him, but he looks good on a line with Doug Sheppard and Joe Greener.
Alan Lack got the lone Bracknell goal and deserved man-of-the-match award
On Sunday night, the Herd travelled to Manchester and won 2-1 despite being heavily out shot by the home side.
Greg Owen scored the only goal of the first period on a double powerplay.
That was his third point of the weekend which moved him up in the British points scorer to seventh in the all time list with 121 from 139 games.  
The Phoenix levelled from Scott McKenzie early on in the final period, before Joe Greener grabbed the game winner.
Bison netminder Stevie Lyle finished the weekend with very impressive stats of 70 saves from the two games.
Despite a four point weekend Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard is not getting carried away.
“I am happy with the four points, but we still have some areas to work on to make this team even better. That is what we will be doing in training this week.”
Last weekend, the signs were there of things to came which when they get it right it will be hard to see who will live with them in the EPL.
The Bison’s league campaign continues this weekend with a visit from the Peterborough Phantoms, before a trip to the Hive to face the Bracknell Bees.
Peterborough are sure to give the Herd a good game, while Bracknell always play better on home ice, so it is not going to be easy for Basingstoke to make it four wins out of four.
Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com

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