Welcome to the Hangar and our first Sunday home game of the season against our near neighbours the Basingstoke Bison. It’s a double up home and away weekend which started last night in Bison land and ends tonight here at the Hangar.
Last weekend was the second tough test on home ice in as many weeks. The Guildford Flames impressed me greatly two weeks ago and last weekend Manchester impressed me as well. In my opinion the Flames were the tougher opponent over the Phoenix but rather than splitting the merits of the two last home opponents I’d rather talk about last weekend’s game. In many respects it was similar to the previous game as in the end indiscipline seemed to be the cost. We were pre-season labelled as serious contenders and in our meetings so far with the other contenders we have kept the game close over 40-50 minutes before our opponents have pinched the results. Against any team offering powerplays isn’t a wise decision but against those you will seriously be competing with for honours is seriously handing them the advantage. It just takes one powerplay goal to unbalance a game and cause you to have to open up and chase the points and against the likes of Manchester and Guildford we’ve seen those top teams will punish us should that happen.
On a brighter note we’ve had a couple of louder weeks in the Hangar and I was pleased to be able to give away the doughnuts to a home block last weekend. Block B really has come alive this season, with singing, dancing, chanting and cheering and the other blocks are coming good too. The doughnuts for the noisiest block are a bit of friendly competition but as I said on this page last week we’re looking for a real carnival buzz around the Arena on gamenights to lift the boys on the ice.
As I write this I’m looking forward to my trip to Bison land on Saturday night and as we read it we’ll be hoping it was a successful game. Due to work commitments it’s not often I get to make the away fixtures but Basingstoke’s 6.30pm face-off is ideal for me after work. The Basingstoke Arena is always a lively place on gamenights and I’m sure the two teams will provide an entertaining and competitive battle on the ice for 120 minutes both at Basingstoke and Slough this weekend.
Tonight at the Hangar we get to welcome familiar faces back, Mo, Chinny, Tosh, Rick Skene, Ciaran Long, Callum Best, Deano, Tom Annetts, Carl Graham. I’m sure it’s going to be a great game tonight so let’s keep the noise loud and enjoy the game.
My team, your team, OUR TEAM!