Herd hurt by play-off blow Bison's play-off hopes suffer injury blow

BASINGSTOKE, UK – The Bison’s play-off campaign was dealt a bitter blow after Michael Wales broke his ankle in Saturday’s 3-1 loss in Swindon.200px-LogoBasingstokeBison

The British forward was stretchered off the ice in the final two minutes of the contest and since joining mid season from Slough Jets, has been a key member of the team.

He had been playing on the Tomas Karpov line along with Andy Melachrino and even if he had only one goal to his name on his debut. He had picked up 16 helpers in 37 games.

The gritty player will also be missed as the Bison face hard hitting Sheffield Steeldogs in the play-off quarter-finals this weekend.

The first game being in Yorkshire with the return in Basingstoke 24 hours later on Sunday.

These side have met before at this stage of the play-offs in 2011, when Sheffield were the seeded team having finished third to the Herd’s sixth.

Despite Basingstoke out shooting them heavily in the pair of games they lost the both of them by a 2-1 margin.

This weekend could well be just as close as every game in the league series this season was decided by the odd goal.

“All the players want to do well in the play-offs for Muzzy (Michael Wales and we know it is going to be a hard physical battle,” said Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.

The Herd who secured second spot in the EPL last weekend wrapped up their regular season with a 4-1 home victory over the Milton Keynes Lightning which saw Ciaran Long grab a brace, while Andy Melachrino and Joe Rand got the other goals. Tom Carlon netted MK’s lone strike

The previous night in Swindon all the goals came from British players as Lee Richardson, Aaron Nell and Ryan Watt scored for the Wildcats and Stuart Mogg scored a late strike for the Bison.

Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com

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