Competitive hockey is finally back as the Phantoms hit the road to face the Basingstoke Bison, before the Milton Keynes Lightning visit Planet Ice Peterborough on Sunday night.
PHANTOMS TEAM NEWS
Phantoms are once again assessing the fitness of one or two players ahead of this weekend’s return to competitive action. Will Weldon could be in line to make his return to the line up this weekend, whilst Brad Bowering left last Saturday’s game in Milton Keynes after the first period as is considered a doubt at this stage.
Morgan Clarke-Pizzo will ice for the Phantoms in both games this weekend after representing the Nottingham Panthers in their fixture last Saturday.
BASINGSTOKE BISON TEAM NEWS
The Bison have largely kept the same roster which represented them in the 2019/20 season, but have added a few new faces to the lineup for the new term. 28 year old Czech forward Filip Martinec will be making his debut in British hockey, whilst former Streatham man Alex Roberts is their second import for the 2021/22 season.
Zack Milton, Aidan Doughty and Brendan Baird have all linked up with the Bison after spells with the Bees, whilst Sam Smith and Oscar Evans have moved on to pastures new. Richard Bordowski has returned to his homeland to play in the Czech Republic whilst Michal Klejna retired from ice hockey after the 19/20 season. The other departures from the Bison were Sam Talbot and Sean Norris, who both joined the Milton Keynes Lightning.
MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING TEAM NEWS
The Lightning are expected to ice a similar roster to the one which faced the Phantoms last weekend in pre-season.
Liam Stewart is still suspended, whilst goalie Matt Smital could also miss out after sustaining an injury in Peterborough last Sunday.
“Based on what we saw last season from Basingstoke , I think Saturday will be a difficult, high paced, physical game. They play direct hockey so there will be pressure on our defence and the forwards will have to come back and help out a lot, which will improve their fitness levels while they do it, so it’s a positive in a way for us to have a game like this so early. It will be a big test for us but you’d rather play in a competitive game than have an easy ride so I’m sure we’ll be ready after a second week of training.
“I’m expecting another battle, based on what we’ve just seen in the weekend just gone. They’re a good, organised, fast paced team with good goaltending. They’re a well balanced team that have a lot of speed so again it’ll be very competitive. I think it’ll be a close an exciting game and it’s one we’re looking forward to.” Slava concluded.
Tickets are available for Sunday’s game against the Lightning HERE. You can also pay by cash or card at the Planet Ice Box office upon arrival at the rink on Sunday.
Doors will open at 4:30pm before our 5:30pm face off.