20th of February 2020
WEEKEND PREVIEW: Big Weekend for the Herd as the Race for Play Off Places Hots UpThis weekends NIHL National league action sees the Trane Basingstoke Bison at home to Leeds Chiefs on Saturday, and away to MK Lightning on Sunday.
Saturday’s game at the Silverdome which has a 6.30pm face off, will be the Chiefs 3rd appearance in Basingstoke this season, but only their 2nd as the visiting side.
Leeds recent form shows excellent home wins against both Telford & Hull, but back to back defeats to MKL, plus a home loss against Sheffield, the latter being the first game in their newly opened Elland Road rink.
Leading points scorers are Adam Barnes with 47 (24+23) from 36 games and Lewis Baldwin 28 (11+17) from 20 games.
Barnes also leads the penalty minutes chart for the Chiefs with 62, just ahead of Richard Bentham on 60.
The teams have met twice this season, with Leeds picking up the points on both occasions, firstly a 4-2 away win in Basingstoke, followed by a 3-2 overtime home win the next day, although the game was again played at the Silverdome as the Chiefs rink had yet to be completed.
With player coach Sam Zajac now having a settled roster who no longer have to train and play home games away from Leeds, they cannot be discounted from making a late run for the play offs.
The Herds 2nd game of the weekend is a Sunday road trip to Milton Keynes to take on the Lightning, face off is 5.15pm.
MKL occupy 7th placed with 46 points from 43 games, their recent form has seen wins away to Telford and Leeds, in addition to a home victory over Leeds, while incurring a matching pair of defeats away to Hull on consecutive weekends.
Leading the points scoring are Tomas Kana with 54 (23+31) from 43 games and Cale Tanaka with 50 (18+32) from 41 games.
Lightning’s 1,016 penalty minutes sees them comfortably head the leagues naughty boy table, Kana with 123 minutes leads the way from Tanaka on 92 and Tom Carlon on 89.
Sunday is the last of the regular season fixtures between the teams, MK currently lead the 4 game series having won 2 of the 3 played, a 5-3 win in MK followed by a 3-2 overtime win in Basingstoke, while the Bison secured a 3-2 overtime win on home ice in game one.
With just 3 points separating Hull in 4th, Bison in 5th, Steeldogs in 6th and MKL in 7th, this weekend is a crucial one for all four teams.