Tough week­end awaits ta­ble top­ping Bees

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT -

T’S A TOUGH week­end ahead for the Berk­shire Cy­cles Brack­nell

Bees as they pre­pare for Streatham on home ice be­fore a road trip to Peter­bor­ough to face the Phan­toms.

The Bees are 2-1 so far in the sea­son series against Streatham. The Lon­don club play un­der head coach Jeremy Cor­nish and his team has no short­age of ex­pe­ri­ence. De­spite los­ing Ai­dan Doughty, Bren­dan Baird, Ben Paynter and Ryan Watt to Brack­nell this sea­son, Cor­nish re­cruited wisely to fill the gaps.

Damien King is the start­ing shot­stop­per and is backed up by Brack­nell-trained Nathan Gre­gory. Cor­nish moved to add to the Light­ning play­ers he cap­tured for 2017/18 – Adam

Carr and Michael Farn – by sign­ing Leigh Jamieson over the sum­mer from Peter­bor­ough Phan­toms.

A Bri­tish de­fence al­lows Cor­nish to ice two non-EIHA trained for­wards. Cana­dian Alex Roberts is an im­pos­ing fig­ure stand­ing at 6’3” and weigh­ing 205lbs but the right shooter came in af­ter a sea­son out the game. The other is Cana­di­an­born, dual na­tional An­dreas Si­a­gris who played with the club last sea­son putting up 12+7 in 23 NIHL starts.

Sum­mer ad­di­tions Ru­pert Quiney from MK Thun­der, Thomas Bai­ley from Lon­don and Joshua Con­dren from In­victa are fit­ting in nicely and Streatham have gelled well this sea­son.

On Sun­day it’s the Peter­bor­ough Phan­toms who are the op­po­nents. The Phan­toms were run­ners-up in the NIHL last sea­son and went on to lose out in the con­fer­ence fi­nal of the play-offs.

They are coached by Slava Koulikov who started his coach­ing ca­reer in Slough be­fore trans­fer­ring to Peter­bor­ough.

Peter­bor­ough’s net­mind­ing is built around Jor­dan Marr, who signed from Fife Fly­ers. The sea­son prior he played with Hull Pi­rates and Ed­in­burgh Cap­i­tals as well as a sea­son at Mil­ton Keynes Light­ning dur­ing their EPL term so has a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence of the Bri­tish game.

Overseas play­ers are Ales

Padelek and Petr Stepanek. Padelek is now in his fourth con­sec­u­tive sea­son with the Phan­toms af­ter com­ing to the UK to join Slough

Jets and fol­low­ing Koulikov to Cam­bridgeshire. He scored at over a point per game in the Phan­toms’ last two sea­sons in the EPL and car­ried that on with 37 points in 28 league games last sea­son.

Stepanek, who re­places the de­parted Dar­ius Pliskauskas, played with the Phan­toms in the last sea­son of EPL record­ing an im­pres­sive 63 points in 53 league games played and re­turns to Peter­bor­ough af­ter putting up 62 points in 35 games in Czech 3 last sea­son.

Koulikov brought in no short­age of fresh blood over the sum­mer but re­tained cap­tain James Fer­rara with his brother Robert on the blue line and Tom Nor­ton, Will Wel­don, Nathan Pol­lard and Scott Rob­son.

Head coach Doug Shep­pard spoke look­ing ahead; “We’ve got a tough week­end ahead, start­ing on Satur­day a team we’ve seen 3 times.

“We’re fa­mil­iar with them and ev­ery game has been a close game so I’d ex­pect an­other tight one on Satur­day.

“Sun­day we head to Peter­bor­ough to face an un­beaten team. We’ve got to make sure we build on the lit­tle run we’re on at the mo­ment and bring our A game twice this week­end.”

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