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Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column
10:00am Saturday 12th October 2013 in Sport
LAST year, Manchester, Guildford and the Bison dominated the league. Our home and away games last weekend against Guildford made it clear to me that we can look forward to competing successfully against the top teams in the league.
It’s not just that we picked up two points. It’s the way that we did it that is so encouraging.
Historically, Guildford and Bison have been successful on their own ice, and struggled away.
This weekend turned that upside down. We could have buckled in the home game when we went 3-1 down but there’s a gritty determination in the squad.
A narrow home defeat was disappointing but it was a game that could have gone either way.
Down after two periods on Sunday, we knew we were creating chances. Joe Greener is playing the best hockey I’ve seen him play for three years or more and Andy Melachrino’s speed and energy were causing problems for the Flames’ defence.
The game went to penalties after we had forced overtime.
Dean Skinns’ performance in the nets deservedly won him his man-of-the-match award. He’s made the start to the season I expected.
Some of you will remember my horror penalty shot in Coventry in the play-offs last year. Taking part again in a penalty shoot-out was certainly not in my mind but Joe Miller showed confidence in me and called me up to take the last penalty.
I’m sure that the fans are beginning to appreciate the character of this year’s squad and the style of hockey on offer.
It’s early days, but I’m confident we have a squad with the character to battle for the whole season.
See you on Saturday.
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