Skinns, Bison blank Bees twice

BASINGSTOKE, UK – Netminder Dean Skinns continues to re-write the Bison record books, this time he has become the first goalie to record a shut-out for a two game weekend after blanking the Bracknell twice.

In the first game the Basingstoke-born cageman made 21 saves on home ice in a 1-0 win and then 24 hours turned away 33 shots at the Hive in a 5-0 victory.Basingstoke logo

It took his shut-out tally to four for the season, which makes him the EPL leader.

The two victories for Herd also saw them move up to second in the table, level on points with the Manchester Phoenix, having played two games more.

The top two still have four games to play this season and the outcome of this series, could well go a long way to deciding the destination of the league title.

For the double header clash with the Bees, the Bison had a returning British forward Ciaran Long back in their line-up.

He signed from Slough where he had been their top British goal scorer and last played for the Herd in season 2010/11.

Then he missed a good chunk of the campaign due to an injury sustained playing for Great Britain under-20s.

The 22-year-old is now a top forward at this level and should prove to be the ideal replacement for Joe Miller, who will depart to Telford on January 2, making his home debut for the Tigers against the Bison three days later.

“Ciaran is great young prospect and I think it will be a great addition to this team,” said Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.

Miller is currently is the club’s leading goal scorer and he grabbed the game winner in Saturday’s victory over Bracknell.

He then scored again on Sunday, but was eclipsed by Long who netted a brace, while the other goals came from Kurt Reynolds and Andy Melachrino.

“I was very pleased to get the four points. The defense was excellent in both games and this was proved with the two shut-outs.”

This weekend, the Bison face a tough looking trip to Swindon, who they beat when they were short staffed earlier in the month 4-3.

Then the following night, they face the EPL penalty kings the Sheffield Steeldogs who in their last two home games have ranked up over 200 minutes.

Their style last season certainly did not suit the Herd and they won on their last two visits of the campaign.

So it will be interesting to see what happens this time around.

Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com

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