THE BASINGSTOKE Bison will be on a revenge mission when the Telford Tigers come to town this Saturday.
Last Sunday in Shropshire, the visiting English Premier League leaders were shut-out for the first time this season as they suffered a 4-0 defeat.
The Herd will be looking to wipe this from their memory when the Tigers, including the Bison’s leading goal scorer this season, Joe Miller, arrive on Saturday for a game that has a 6.30pm face-off.
Only a fortnight ago in Basingstoke, Miller scored the winning penalty shot as the Bison beat the Sheffield Steeldogs.
The British forward’s final game for the Herd was in Guildford on New Year’s Day as he helped his old side to victory and to the top of the EPL.
He made his home debut for Telford against the Bison last Sunday and is one of a number of high-profile British signings the Tigers have made in the past month.
The latest arrival this week was netminder Tom Murdy.
He is unlikely to start in goal in Basingstoke, as Declan Ryan will be keen to carry on from his shut-out performance in Telford.
The Tigers are now one of the in-form teams in the EPL, having won six of their last seven outings.
The league title may be beyond them, but they will prove to be stiff opposition in the play-offs.
The Bison hope to have defenceman Kurt Reynolds back from injury and will be keen to continue their impressive run of home form, which is now six straight wins.
Looking ahead to the Telford game, Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard said: “It is going to be strange for Joe (Miller) coming back to his old club.
“We were disappointed to lose in Telford and threw everything we had at them in the last period. We will now look to do this for 60 minutes.
“We have to make sure we use our home ice advantage.”
On Sunday night, the Bison head north to face the Manchester Phoenix (face-off 5.30pm).
Last weekend, the Herd beat their title rivals 5-2 on home ice, but for this encounter their number one goalie Stephen Fone will be back from illness.
Sheppard said: “They are very good at home, having won their last 10 games, so we know we are in for a tough match.”
The Bison’s EPL Cup semi-final dates against the Guildford Flames have been announced.
The first leg will be at home on Wednesday, January 29 (face-off 7.45), with the return in Guildford on February 5 (face-off 8pm).
Visit basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from the Basingstoke Arena on Saturday night.