THERE will be some familiar faces on the ice for the Basingstoke Bison this weekend as they look for local bragging rights.

As part of this weekend’s fixtures, the Herd travel up the M3 on Sunday to face former head coach Doug Sheppard’s Bracknell Bees.

The Bees have started strong this season, but for Bison player / coach Ashley Tait, he believes ice hockey is built on these local rivalries.

“I experienced a lot of Nottingham / Sheffield derbies and you can tell there is a different atmosphere,” said Tait.

“Rivalries are great for the sport and it gives both the players and fans an added buzz if you can get one up on your local rivals.

“Obviously we are very familiar with the Bracknell team, and they have had a great start to the season, but with these types of games you can never predict what is going to happen.”

Before the clash with Bracknell, Tait’s side will host Invicta Dynamos on Saturday, and the Herd will be hoping to continue the momentum of their 5-0 shut-out against Milton Keynes Thunder into this weekend’s games.

After just the one game last weekend, Tait is hoping that his players will be refreshed and raring to go when it comes to Saturday.

He said: “Having a short weekend can be a bit strange, but we’ve had a few niggling injuries, so the rest has helped with that.

“Getting the shut-out will do wonders for Alex’s [Mettam] confidence, it was one of those games where not a lot happened but when he was called into action he was quick to react.

“There is always a sense of by the time you get to the second game of the weekend the team has really hit its stride, but we’ve been working on different areas of play in training and will be looking to carry on that winning feeling into this weekend.”