Match Preview – Bees IHC

Club History:

The Bracknell Bees were formed in 1987 and they played out of the John Nike Leisure Centre for almost their entire existence right up until the facility closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. With this disappointing news a decision was made to move the team to Slough and with this a new team name was always likely to happen, the management have renamed the team Bees IHC moving forward.

As Bracknell the Bees have enjoyed a lot of success over a sustained period and this only really dropped off in the past decade. The Bees one were of the teams to form the Superleague and they tasted success by winning the league title in the 99-00 season, they followed this up with a BNL league title in the 04-05 season. After the folding of the BNL the Bees moved into the EPL and won the League and Playoff double during their second season in the competition. The final piece of silverware won by Bracknell came in 2008 as they won the EPL Cup, since then they’ve endured a drought that has lasted over a decade.

Previous Season’s Performance:

NIHL National – 9th – GP50 – W20 – L25 – OTL5 – GF178 – GA200 – PTS45

Previous Meetings:

05/10/2019 Swindon Wildcats 5-0 Bracknell Bees

13/10/2019 Bracknell Bees 1-2 Swindon Wildcats

24/11/2019 Bracknell Bees 2-4 Swindon Wildcats

22/12/2019 Bracknell Bees 5-3 Swindon Wildcats

28/12/2019 Swindon Wildcats 4-1 Bracknell Bees

11/01/2020 Swindon Wildcats 4-3 Bracknell Bees

01/02/2020 Swindon Wildcats 4-6 Bracknell Bees

09/02/2020 Bracknell Bees 3-2 Swindon Wildcats

The Coach:

Tonight’s opposing head coach is Canadian Doug Sheppard and he started his playing career on Canada before moving on to play NCAA hockey in the USA. His first venture to Europe involved a season in Italy which only lasted for a solitary year and then following a season back in the US he made his move to the UK with Basingstoke in the Elite League. Sheppard played for a total of 6 seasons in the Elite League between Basingstoke and Sheffield Steelers, afterwards he dropped to the EPL with Slough and after 1 year he took up the player coaching role. He continued this role with Basingstoke the following year and finally hung up the skates to concentrate on coaching full time in 2015.

While in Basingstoke he managed a Cup and Playoff double in 2014 and this was then followed up with 2 league titles in 2016 and 2018. It was after this that he made the decision to leave the Bison and join the Bees while they were still in Bracknell and despite the clubs struggles he remains in charge and a highly respected coach in British ice hockey.