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Basingstoke Bison prepare for double header against Guildford Flames
THE HEAT is on the Basingstoke Bison this weekend as they face reigning league champions the Guildford Flames in a double header weekend of action.
Both teams have started the season in fine form, having only suffered one defeat each, which has left the Flames in second spot in the English Premier League table, just above the Herd.
The Bison are expected to have forward Andy Melachrino back in their line-up for the Flames clash after he was injured early in Saturday’s game at Milton Keynes and sat out the return on Sunday.
However, defenceman Carl Graham, pictured, who missed both victories in the double header victories over MK, is still a doubt as he is having a scan this week, the result of which will decide when he can return to the line-up.
The first game of the weekend is at the Basingstoke Arena (face-off 6.30pm) on Saturday with the return at the Spectrum starting at 6pm.
Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard, having guided his side to their second four point of the season last weekend, is looking forward to the challenge of facing the Flames.
“Guildford are one of the top teams in the league and have been for a number of years,” he said.
“They are scoring a lot of goals on the powerplay at the moment, so we have to make sure we stay out of the penalty box as I don’t want the game to become a special teams battle.”
The Flames have one of the most explosive forward lines in the league and Canadian hot shot Curtis Huppe is back after missing a few games due to injury.
Bison boss Sheppard is aware of their dangermen and said: “We have to limit our mistakes as players like Curtis Huppe, Marcus Kristoffersson and Rick Plant will punish you.”
Log on to basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from both games at the weekend.
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