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

WHAT a week! Three games – two wins, cup won, runners-up in the league.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 is a date that everyone connected to Basingstoke Bison Ice Hockey Club – sponsors, management, players, support staff, volunteers, fans – will remember. It’s been a long wait to win a trophy and all the sweeter to do it in our anniversary year.

Thank you to everyone who played a part in this success.

All credit to our opponents for making it such a close game.

Bison fans have become used to riding a rollercoaster of emotions in our games, but that was quite a ride, even by Bison standards.

Thank you, too, to the players and fans of Milton Keynes for so generously and sportingly acknowledging our success throughout the presentation.

We were proud to bring the cup to the fans after the game and let them pass it around in the bar and celebrate with us. After 14 years, winning a trophy feels good.

Whatever challenge comes their way, the guys pull together as a team to deal with it. Already without Matt Selby, we lost Joe Greener through injury halfway through the game. We then lost Miroslav Vantroba for the final 10 minutes of the game. But we came through.

A day off on Thursday, battling to a win against Sheffield and then up to Manchester for a game which we needed to win to keep our championship hopes alive.

To win in Manchester, you need to play a perfect game.

Once again, the team played with passion and intensity to produce one of their best performances on the road.

Manchester’s win gave the home team the title and we ended up with three wins each over the season.

Our congratulations to Tony Hand and his team.

Two more league games before the play-offs begin. See you Sunday.

All the best,

Doug

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