This past Saturday we hosted the Bracknell Hornets at the arena and we battled hard for a 6-1 victory. That win was our first for a few games and to be honest I think it was the longest losing streak since I’ve been in charge. Bracknell beat us very comfortably about a month ago in their rink, so it was nice to see the guys play with some pride and give them a little payback.
As I’ve said before, we have been going through a bit of a rough patch and I hope that this win will give us some confidence moving forward towards our next home league game against the London Raiders Sunday night.
We have been receiving some criticism through social media the last couple weeks and while some of it is warranted, a couple of the comments in particular were not. We have assembled almost a full new squad this season and I for one didn’t think it would take this long to get on a roll, but for some people to question our commitment is something I thought I would address. We have assembled a team that is fully committed to training and games and this is something that took me a few years to do. We have guys travelling from as for as Slough and guys living in the team house away from their friends and family. When a team goes through a rough patch as we have, a lot of guys can start to drift and go against each other and this hasn’t happened within our team so far. I think the guys in the room know we have the potential and they also know we don’t have much more time to get things on track before I have to start changing the line up.
Last night we were outclassed by a very strong Basingstoke team, the skill level difference was very evident. We played a very good first period, but once again a poor second period let us down.
It was a special game for me, playing against former Raider and good friend Joe Rand. Joe showed his class last night when he scored a couple of beautiful goals and it is awesome to see how far he has developed as a player. Also, it was a special night for Shannon Long as he got to start against his brother who is a Bison Forward. After denying him on a few chances throughout the game, he let his brother score on him late in the second. It was also the return for a couple other Bison players, Carl Graham and Craig Tribe and I’m sure they would have liked to see a closer score line.
This week we will be changing things up in training, we will be doing more actual game play situation stuff and even though it may be boring for the guys, I think repetition is needed at this point. We tend to play good at times, but we all know we need to start playing the same way for the whole 60 minutes of a match.
Saturday we head to Milton Keynes to play the Lighting in the EPL Cup and these games have been very difficult for our club. The vast difference in skill level has been evident throughout the competition and even though we have given solid efforts throughout, we have struggled to say the least. These games have also been tough mentally on our guys and I’m hoping we can have a decent game in MK and be flying for Sundays match at home.
We need your support now more then ever and it would be awesome to see a vocal crowd after this past Saturday’s solid effort on home ice. Part of the appeal for these new and returning players is the reputation of how good the Island crowd can be and we really want to be supported each week.
Thanks again and see you Sunday,