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Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column
12:00pm Friday 1st February 2013 in Sport
WE’RE caught up in a punishing schedule at the moment.
A narrow loss at Slough last Wednesday in the first leg of the English Premier League Cup was followed by home and away wins against Peterborough at the weekend which saw us go back to the top of the table.
Last night we were in Telford and we are there again on Sunday after a home derby against Bracknell the previous night.
There’s a lot to talk to you about, but foremost in my mind is the selection of Greg Owen for the Great Britain team and the inclusion of Stevie Lyle, coming out of international retirement, as a reserve netminder to play in Latvia.
They celebrated by sharing the man-of-the-match awards in the last three games. Greg and Stevie kept us within touch with Slough for the return leg with a last minute goal and save. Greg’s second award came after a hat-trick on Saturday, and Stevie was a rock on Sunday.
I think their performances showed how much their selection meant to them. Greg has been with the Bison in good times and bad. His loyalty and integrity are highly valued by the fans.
In the season of 2006/7, when we were in the Elite League, Greg was voted the Players’ Player of the Year. His team-mates described him then as a quiet leader, skilled, consistent and professional in the way he conducted himself on and off the ice.
He continues to be a tremendous leader, though more vocal. To be recalled to the national team as the only player from this league is an outstanding achievement.
I know how much Basingstoke Bison is valued in the community. We can all take pride that players like Greg and Stevie have chosen to play their sport here. We wish the GB team every success in Latvia.
Meanwhile, we need some more points. See you Saturday.