The Basingstoke Bison opened the season with a 7-5 victory on home ice against eventual league champions the Telford Tigers.

Alex Sampford scored the opening goal of the season in the seventh minute.

At one point the Bison led 5-2 before three goals in under a minute from the visitors tied the game.

It was left to man of the match Sampford and Richard Bordowski to seal the win.

The following night, was a complete contrast as the Herd crashed to their worst defeat of the whole campaign going down 8-3 in Romford to the Raiders.

This then set the pattern for the first month of the season as the Bison won at home but lost on the road.

This included a heartbreaking defeat in Telford where the Tigers scored the winner 30 seconds from the end.

This was a great effort from the visitors given that Richard Bordowski was out injured.

The Herd then suffered their first home defeat on 19 October losing in overtime to the Hull Pirates.

However the following night the Bison really stung the Bees even though they were still minus Bordowski as they beat the Bracknell Bees 9-2. Michal Klejna helped himself to four goals and Ryan Sutton on his first return to the Hive netted a hat-trick.

In their next game Klejna was injured in the home defeat against Swindon.

With both imports ruled out, player coach Ashley Tait acted quickly and signed Marek Malinsky on injury cover after being released by the Raiders. His introduction saw the Bison win five straight games.

In the third one Klejna returned as the Bison beat Telford once again on home ice and the final game of the sequence saw Malinsky score the winning penalty shot on his return to Romford.

The Bison then suffered their first blank weekend, after a very rare home defeat against Bracknell and a loss on the road in Hull.

However the Bracknell game will be more remembered for the bust up after the final buzzer. This was caused my James Galazzi firing the puck at Bison netminder Alex Mettam which added 134 minutes to the penalty count of the game.

The team bounced back on the final weekend of November with an impressive 4-2 win in Swindon and a home victory over the Raiders.

The first three weekends of December were best forgotten as the Bison only won once.

Included in this was a double-header defeat against the Leeds Chiefs, the first time the Bison had ever faced the Yorkshire club.

The second game was played in Basingstoke due to the fact that their rink was still to be completed and Bordowski returned for the game.

Boxing Day saw the Bison enjoy a penalty shot victory on home ice.

Two days later the Herd produced one of their best ever come backs in their history against the Raiders, as they won 6-5 in overtime having trailed 5-3 with five minutes to play. Klejna scored the fourth goal and then Sampford tied the game 3.9 seconds before the final hooter. It was left to Sean Norris to complete a memorable victory.

In the final game of 2019 the Herd were beaten away at Peterborough. Then the first game of 2020 saw the Bison win again on penalty shots this time in Swindon.

They then won their first home game of the new year against Peterborough.

During the rest of January the Herd had two more home wins and four loses including their best win being 8-2 over their local rivals Bracknell with Sam Talbot and Klejna both grabbing braces on the night.

On the first weekend of February they beat the Raiders in overtime, a game in which Klejna was thrown out for slew footing which was quashed by the governing body, hence allowing him to play the next evening in Bracknell where they won 7-4.

They then suffered three straight loses the last being the highest scoring game of the season as they went down 8-7 in overtime in Swindon. This was followed by the lowest score of the season as they beat the Leeds Chiefs 2-0 with Alex Mettam recording the only shut-out of the season as he turned away all 18 shots he faced.

The Bison won their next three games, the last being their first ever trip to Leeds where they returned 8-4 victors. The final full weekend of action was against the Wildcats and after a narrow 4-3 defeat on home ice they recorded their final win of the season winning in overtime in Swindon.

With the coronavirus overshadowing the country their last game of the season was on home ice against Peterborough where they were edged out 5-4.

Telford were crowned champions as they had enough points to clinch the title before the season was halted. This meant Swindon finished second, Peterborough third, the Herd fourth.

Looking back on the season player/coach Ashley Tait said: "I think we had the opportunities to finish higher, but we will look back on games we dominated and got nothing and others where we deserved something and again got nothing."

"I think for me the big win in Bracknell was high spot of the season. Not because it was against our local rivals, but it was a game where all the players contributed."

All being well the Herd will stampede back out onto the ice for season 2020/21 in September.