Featured in the paper every Thursday, Bracknell Bees head coach Doug Sheppard gives latest views on the club’s season on and off the ice in an exclusive column.
It’s never easy to lose two games back to back, as happened last weekend. What is encouraging is how well the team came back on Sunday after a poor performance on Saturday in Basingstoke.
We began the game short-benched, two of our defenders still injured. We went into the third period against Bison losing three goals to one. We were playing with a four man defence, and the game ran away with us. One of our team received a match penalty and two others were unable to play the following day.
So we took to the ice on Sunday against Hull, the top form team in the League, missing five of our team. When Roman Malinik opened the scoring for the Bees, it was clear that there would be no repeat of Saturday’s form. However depleted the team was, they were going to compete hard for the full sixty minutes.
We went into the final period of the game drawing three goals each. Hull took the lead, so we withdrew our net minder during the last few minutes to bring on an extra attacker. It is a tactic that sometimes works. Last night Hull scored twice more into our empty net.
Two losses, but two very different performances.
Whatever the result, the fans are supportive of a team working hard. They were also able to wish one young man, Vanya Antonov, the best of luck for his three month trip to Hong Kong with his brother, Ilya, who has also played for Bracknell. Vanya is stepping away from hockey as he plans for his future.
We’re on the road next weekend. Our next home game is the following Sunday, against Bison. That’s an evening when we look forward to you all getting behind the team. See you then