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Basingstoke Bison prepare to meet league leaders
Standing in their way are early league leaders Manchester Phoenix at the Basingstoke Arena on Saturday night (face-off 6.30pm).
Sheppard said: “We were out-worked in Peterborough and I did not expect that to happen to this team this season.
“We now have to make sure that does not happen again and I am sure against Manchester this will be the case.”
The Phoenix are in red hot form this season, with just one loss in 10 games – 3-2 at Guildford last Saturday, but in the return on home ice 24 hours later, they avenged the defeat, winning 7-4.
They have an awesome-looking set of forwards, so Bison netminder Dean Skinns, who has been in great form this season, could well be in for a busy night.
Bison boss Sheppard added: “We know we will have to be at our best against Manchester and make sure we do the little things right.
“They have some very good forwards, who will punish you if you make a mistake.”
Herd defenceman Carl Graham sat out Sunday’s defeat due to injury, but it is hoped he’ll be back this weekend.
Saturday’s game will be sponsored by J Davy Vauxhall and business manager Terry Colwell’s son, eight-year-old TJ, will perform the ceremonial face-off.
The youngster suffers from a rare disease, Niemann-Pick Type C, which is a life shortening condition and has no cure.
The family will be raising money at the game for a trip to Disneyland for him next year.
On Sunday night, the Bison travel down the road to the Hive to face the Bracknell Bees and former fans’ favourite Tony Redmond (face-off 6pm).
The Berkshire rink has not been a happy hunting ground for the Herd in recent years, but Sheppard is hoping to change this and said: “They are a dangerous team who are starting to get solid goal tending, which they were lacking at the start of the season.
“We have to ignore the fact they are bottom in the standings and make sure we get a win.”
Just two days later, the Bison are on their travels again with a tough trip to face the Sheffield Steeldogs, who within their ranks have former Herd forward Greg Chambers.
See today's Gazette for an eight-page special celebrating the Bison's 25th anniversary.
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