EPL leaders Peterborough Phantoms face a weekend double-header against MK Lightning as they look to strengthen their grip at the top of the table.
Peterborough head to Milton Keynes on Saturday, before returning to home ice the following day, and go into the weekend with a five-point lead over the chasing pack.
Lee Elias, Phantoms’ Director of Player Development, says the team are trying not to focus on it.
“If anything it makes our job harder – we cannot become complacent or use it as an excuse for losses,” said Elias.
“The onus is on us to stay focused on the next two points. We’re only halfway through the season – you get nothing for being top now.
“We’re really excited to play MK this weekend. I love this match up – it’s a good rivalry and brings the best out of both teams. Hopefully we’ll come out of the weekend with the points we need.”
MK are struggling for form at the moment having suffered three defeats in their last four games. Head Coach Pete Russell says his team is united in their aim to get back on track.
“The guys are desperate to deliver for everyone,” he said. “Maybe at times they try too hard and force things. They have to channel that energy in the right way and work smarter.
“We are organised and get into great areas in every game, but we have to be more clinical. We will not stop working hard to find a way out of this situation – and we will find a way.”
Basingstoke face a difficult test on Saturday as they travel to Swindon Wildcats. The hosts have been in excellent form at home, winning their last eight games, but Bison boss Doug Sheppard believes his team are capable of getting a result.
“They are a very good side especially on home ice, but I felt we played well there last time and deserved more than an overtime loss.
“Against Swindon it is all about making sure we play a solid defensive game and stay out of the penalty box, as their powerplay killed us last time.”
Swindon Wildcats v Basingstoke Bison
MK Lightning v Peterborough Phantoms
Bracknell Bess v Guildford Flames
Hull Pirates v Sheffield Steeldogs
Peterborough Phantoms v MK Lightning
Basingstoke Bison v Bracknell Bees
Swindon Wildcats v Bracknell Bees
Guildford Flames v Basingstoke Bison
(Image permission: Tony Sargent)