Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column

Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.

Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.

First published in Sport

MANY of you reading this today will have attended the first leg of our semi-final cup match on Wednesday evening, and watched us play in a replica of the original kit to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Over that time, ice hockey has become the best attended sport in Basingstoke.

The fans have learned to expect a hard-working, honest team and have repaid us over the years with their loyalty and enthusiasm for the sport.

I hope we gave them something to be proud of last night.

Of course, it was frustrating last weekend not to pick up four points against Sheffield and Peterborough, having heavily outshot our opponents in both games, but the bounces will start coming our way if we continue to apply ourselves.

We’ve been coming out flat in some of our home games, so we were all pleased to dominate Sheffield so convincingly in the first period.

But the play-offs are at the forefront of the minds of the teams in the lower half of the league. They are all fighting to secure a place, so the intensity shown by Sheffield and by Peterborough came as no surprise to us.

We ran out winners on Saturday and I was pleased with the focus and discipline of the players in a game that had a high penalty count.

It was good to have Kurt Reynolds back on the ice after his injury.

We lost our last game of the series against Peterborough on Sunday but it finished 4-2 in our favour over the season.

On behalf of the players, thank you for making the sport we love such an important part of life in Basingstoke.

If you haven’t made it to the rink in the last 25 years, come and join us on Saturday night.

All the best,

Doug

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