The dates for the EPL semi-final clash between Guildford Flames and Basingstoke Bison have been confirmed.
The teams meet in Basingstoke on Wednesday, 20th January, with the return leg set for 27th January at the Spectrum in Guildford.
The Surrey club enjoyed back-to-back cup success in 2011/12 and 2012/13, but missed out on the chance to retain their trophy in 2014 after Basingstoke knocked them out at the semi-final stage.
Player/Coach Paul Dixon is looking forward to locking horns with the Hampshire outfit once again.
“A couple of seasons ago Bison dismantled us in the opening game, and then last season we blew a 3-0 lead at home against Telford in leg one,” he said.
“Coming home to a massive deficit or coughing up what should be a comfortable lead are a couple of scenarios we need to avoid.
“That first game is crucial and you don’t want to lose the aggregate series before the second leg has even begun.
“One way or another we have to find a way to come home to a score that is manageable in terms of realistic opportunity for advancement, and also in terms of positive state of mind as the puck drops on leg two.”
In head-to-head games this season Guildford trail the series with one win from three tries, with Basingstoke securing a pair of wins at home while dropping an 8-4 decision in Guildford during November.
“Basingstoke play a heady two-way game,” Dixon added. “They are at or near the top of the league in per game goals for and conceded so they can do it in both ends of the ice.
“If we are going to achieve advancement, or at least start with getting home to a winnable series, we are going to have to be at our best.
“It should be a great display of local derby hockey with a lot on the line, and we are looking forward to getting it underway.”
(Image permission: Alan Bone)