THIS weekend’s double header between the Herd and the Slough Jets will go a long way to deciding the fate of both sides as they strive to make the English Premier League Cup semi-finals.
The first home and away games of the league campaign also count for the group stage of this competition and, with only a handful of matches left, a four-point weekend for either side would be a big step in the right direction for qualification.
The first game of the weekend is in Basingstoke on Saturday (6.30pm face-off) with the return at the Hangar on Sunday starting at the same time.
Slava Koulikov has taken over as Slough player/coach and the Berkshire side enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign – until last weekend, when they suffered a double loss at home to Manchester and then a shut-out in Peterborough.
Meanwhile, the Herd enjoyed a double header success over Swindon and a repeat performance would do nicely against the Jets.
Sheppard said: “I watched Slough earlier in the season and in Frantisek Bakrlik and Darius Pliskauskas they have two very dangerous forwards, while Gregg Rockman looks to be on top of his game in net.
“So it is going to be a tough weekend, but we want to start to get a run going.”
Adding extra spice to the game, if any was needed, is the fact that Bison forward Joe Greener will play against his older brother, hard hitting defenceman Adam Greener for the very first time.
Greener is one of five Bison players signed from Jets during the summer, the others being Sheppard, Andrew Melachrino, Alex Symonds and Zach Sullivan.
So there is plenty is at stake as two of the title challengers meet for the first time this season.