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Reynolds' broken leg harms Bison title chances
THE Basingstoke Bison’s title hopes have suffered a massive blow with the news that top British defenceman Kurt Reynolds has been ruled out for the next couple of months.
The 26-year-old Basingstoke-born player fractured his fibula after he fell to the ice following a hit from Nick Poole in the first period of the Herd’s loss in Milton Keynes last Saturday.
He has been a major part of the meanest five-man defence in the English Premier League.
Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard said: “Losing Kurt is a big blow he will be in plaster for six weeks and then we will see after that how long before he is back in the line-up.
“We have suffered adversity before and the other guys in the dressing room will have to step up – we cannot dwell on this.”
The Bison boss has not ruled out signing another player and said: “I will do whatever I can to improve the team. There are not the players out there at the moment, but that may well change.”
The games are coming thick and fast for the Herd and last night they were in action at Swindon.
This weekend they return to home ice with a visit from basement side the Telford Tigers on Saturday and then the Herd are on the road again to Sheffield the following day.
The Herd narrowly won 4-3 in the middle of October when Telford were last in town and since then Tigers import Jaroslav Cesky has joined the Herd.
He returned to Telford just before Christmas and helped the Bison to a 5-1 victory over the Tigers, grabbing assists on two goals in the first period as the visitors raced to a 4-0 lead, Greg Chambers, Greg Owen, Doug Sheppard and Joe Greener all finding the net.
The second period saw Elliot Knell pull a goal back before Greener wrapped up the scoring.
The game also saw Basingstoke-born teenage goalie Connor Standing make his league debut for the team in the final period.
The Bison will be hoping Saturday’s game, which has a 6.30pm face-off, is just as straightforward, but despite the Tigers having not won since November, player/coach Tom Watkins still believes his side can make the play-offs and the side is stronger than in their last visit.
Basingstoke player/coach Sheppard is taking nothing for granted and said: “Telford have players coming back into their line-up and they are a dangerous team. They have beaten Manchester this season so we will not be taking them lightly.”
On Sunday, the Bison have the chance to gain quick revenge for their Boxing Day defeat at the Basingstoke as they travel to Ice Sheffield.
The Steeldogs’ victory in Hampshire was their first of December, but they proved it was no fluke as they followed that up with an 8-4 victory over the Bison’s title rivals the Manchester Phoenix, making them one of the in-form teams currently in the EPL.
Sunday’s game has a 5.30pm face-off and Sheppard said: “Sheffield are a physical team so we know we are going to have a battle in their own building.
“They outplayed and out worked us last time so we are determined not to let that happen again this time.”