THE Basingstoke Bison are keen to keep their winning run going and next in their sights are local rivals the Guildford Flames.
For the third weekend running the Herd are in double header action, with the first game at the Basingstoke Arena on Saturday night (6.30pm) and the return at the Spectrum the following day (6pm).
These sides have already met this season in Guildford where the reigning league champions continued their domination over the Bison on home ice with a comfortable 6-2 victory.
Since what was the lowest point of the Herd’s season the Bison have won four straight games over Swindon and Slough, which is in contrast to their Surrey rivals, who have lost their last two.
That will count for nothing as the local rivals go head-to-head with a bumper crowd expected.
The Bison have injury worries ahead of the game as forwards Joe Miller and Joe Greener were forced out of the brutal clash in Slough last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Guildford have added Dean Holland from Whitley to their line-up, but will be without their top British forward David Longstaff as he is away in Japan playing for Great Britain at the Olympic qualifiers.
His place in the line-up could be filled by their fifth import Milos Melicherik and if that happens defenceman Branislav Kvetan will have to sit out as the Flames can only ice four imports in the game.
So the Guildford line-up will be changed to the one that faced the Bison last month and the Herd will also have a different dimension as new star forward Jaroslav Cesky has joined them and enjoyed an impressive debut weekend.
The first game of the weekend’s encounter also counts as a cup group game and victory for either side will mean they have one foot in the semi-finals.
Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard said: “When we played Guildford last time they were coming off of five losses and this time it is two. So they are going to be dangerous and we have to be on the top of our game.
“We will work on a few things in training ahead of the game. At the moment we are finding a way to win and we want that to continue.”