Basingstoke Bison look to complete quick double over Guildford Flames

Basingstoke Gazette: Tomas Karpov scores in last week's 6-4 win over the Guildford Flames. Tomas Karpov scores in last week's 6-4 win over the Guildford Flames.

THE Basingstoke Bison will be looking to complete a quick double over league leaders Guildford Flames on Sunday evening, when the title rivals face each other for the second time in the space of eight days.

This is after the Herd have faced a visit from the Telford Tigers the night before, in a game that has a 6.30pm face-off.

The Herd enjoyed a 6-4 victory over the Flames last Saturday.

Basingstoke are currently third in the English Premier League table, four points behind their Surrey rivals, but they have two games in hand.

This weekend, the Bison will be without defenceman Zach Sullivan, as he is on international duty with Great Britain under-20s.

It remains to be seen if Guildford have their injured trio of import forward Marcus Kristoffersson and British defensive pair Rick Skene and Jez Lundin, who all missed last week’s game.

Looking ahead to another derby clash, which starts at 6pm, Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard said: “We know it is going to be a tough game and they will still be smarting from losing last week.

“We are without Zach (Sullivan) this weekend, so everyone is going to have to step up and fill the hole.

“They may have a few players missing, but they still have a very strong team and we will have to play well for the full 60 minutes if we are to get the result.”

Guildford bounced back to winning ways last Sunday, with a 4-0 home win over Milton Keynes, as goalie James Hadfield, pulled the previous evening in Basingstoke, recorded a shut-out.

Before the Bison turn their attentions to Guilford they must focus on a visit from the lowly Telford Tigers.

They are the inconsistent kings of the EPL and proved this again last weekend, when they won in Coventry against Milton Keynes and then lost at home to Slough.

So the Herd will have to be on their guard as the Tigers have done well on the road all season, but lost in a feisty encounter at Basingstoke last time around.

Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard said: “Telford may be bottom, but in this league anyone can beat anyone, and they are a hard working team who will never give up.

“We have to make sure we are ready to go from the opening face-off and build on our win over Guildford last weekend.”

Fans are reminded that Saturday’s game will see the return of the popular Teddy Bear Toss.

This is when cuddly toys are thrown onto the ice after the Bison score their first goal of the night.

All toys should have a CE tag and be placed in a bag to save them getting wet when they hit the ice.

Should the Herd be shut-out for the first time this season, then the teddy bears will be thrown on the ice at the final buzzer.

All the cuddly toys will be collected and donated to Naomi House children’s hospice.

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