THE new look Basingstoke Bison will hit the ice for the first time this weekend, with back-to-back pre-season challenge games against the Peterborough Phantoms.

The first game is at home with a 6.30pm face-off, with the return to Peterborough at 5.30pm.

New Herd player/coach Ashley Tait is looking forward to the weekend and said: “It will be good to see the guys in action and we know Peterborough will be a stiff test for us. We will always step on the ice to win, but I know we have a lot of new faces in the line-up and this weekend it is matter of getting our systems working. I am exciting like all the players are that the season is finally here.”

The Herd this season are two brand new imports in Richard Bordowski and Michal Klejna. There is also a new netminder Alex Mettam, while the defence has five new faces with Chris Cooke, Adam Jones, Jay King, Tom Ralph and Sam Smith. As well as Tait, there are six new British forwards in Russ Cowley, Danny Ingoldsby, Rhys McCormick, Liam Morris, George Norcliffe and Alex Sampford.

Back from last season’s team are cageman Dan Weller-Evans, blue liner Elliot Dewey, along with forwards Hallam Wilson, Paul Petts, Sam Brooks, Cam Buckle and Oscar Evans.

Tomorrow night, the Bison are holding a season ticket collection evening from 6pm and there is the chance to see the players training from 6.45pm.

Once training has finished the evening reverts to the bar and will start around 8.15pm, when new club sponsors Trane will unveil this season's jerseys. There will also be the opportunity to meet the players as well.