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Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column
12:00pm Saturday 23rd March 2013 in Sport
I HOPE that we’ll have another large crowd at the rink on Sunday as we play Swindon in our final League game of the season.
Ryan Aldridge, a former Bison player/coach, will be assured of a warm welcome for his team, but we’ll be looking for a home win to sign off our season in style.
It will be a chance for us to show our appreciation to the fans who have supported us to our best finish in a league since 2001. Perhaps next year we’ll have a little more luck with injuries and go one place better.
Last week, that injury jinx hurt us again when Andy Melachrino and Nicky Watt had to retire from the game. We also lost Joe Greener for a game penalty after an accidental high stick offence.
But the guys are playing with great heart and character now, as the win in Milton Keynes showed the following day. Greener and Greg Owen are playing on a line together now and have a great chemistry, while our powerplay unit was relieved to find the back of the net.
I know there’s a lot of speculation now about how the play-offs are going to work out. We need to take it a game at a time, whoever we are drawn against. The league was a marathon, but the play-offs are a sprint and we hope that the fans are looking forward to the games as much as we are.
We won’t have the services of Matt Selby and Cameron Wynn after Saturday as they travel to Estonia with the GB under-18 team. We wish these two young men every success.
Congratulations to Guildford on winning the league and to the GB Sledge Hockey team, who have made it through to the Olympic Qualification tournament later this year.
See you all on Sunday.