Basingstoke Bison secure services of key forward Joe Rand

Basingstoke Gazette: Joe Rand with the play-off trophy Joe Rand with the play-off trophy

CANADIAN forward Joe Rand is the latest player to re-sign for Basingstoke Bison.

Fans’ favourite Rand was the club’s second-highest goal scorer in their double-winning season as he hit the net 28 times in the league campaign, including four in one game against Slough.

He also scored four times during the play-off campaign, with his stand-out strike being his dramatic penalty shot in the final against Manchester.

Rand has now played two seasons in Basingstoke, having joined from the Wightlink Raiders, and he is another excellent signing for the Herd.

Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard is delighted to have him back and said: “Joe is the totally package and brings so much to the locker room.

“He is great at shutting down other teams’ top lines and is getting better every year.

“He scored a number of big goals for us last season and is not afraid.”

Rand, who lives in Winchester but was born in Hamilton, Ontario, is looking forward to a third year in Basingstoke.

The Canadian forward said: “I really enjoyed last year, winning two trophies, and I have been asked to do the same job again next season, so I am looking forward to it.

“I think for me, the highlight was scoring the penalty shot in Coventry against Manchester.

“It is something special to do – like scoring in game seven of a play-off series, as it was the championship final.”

Rand is the second import to return to the Herd and that leaves Bison boss Doug Sheppard with only two more to sign.

They will be a forward and a defenceman.

There has also been one departure from the Herd this week as young British defence-man Zach Sullivan has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow’s Elite League outfit Braehead Clan.

The 19-year-old spent two seasons with the Herd, having joined from the Slough Jets and was a Great Britain under-20 international last season.

Bison boss Doug Sheppard said: “Zach is a great young defenceman who has come on leaps and bounds since joining us.

“I managed to get him some training at Coventry last season and this is the next step for him. I hope he does really well.”

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