Dad-to-be Bicknell was ready to quit finalBy Alan Manicom
April 15, 2008
Adam Bicknell was ready to pull out of Bracknell Bees’ most important game of the season at any second if his wife had gone into labour.
Bees’ captain could have been forgiven for having one eye on the stand as his side went down 4-1 to his former club Slough Jets in the English Premier League Championship play-off final at Coventry on Sunday.
Wife Karen was due to give birth to their first child the previous day when Bees overcame Sheffield Scimitars 4-2 in a thrilling semi-final. Not that Bicknell let the impending arrival adversely effect his game as he netted the opening goal after just 55 seconds.
Bicknell, who lives in Warfield, said: “It was always at the back of my mind. But I think the other boys were more nervous about Karen going into labour at the rink and me having to dash off the ice.
“I went back home with her on Saturday night, but she felt all right so she travelled back up again the following day for the final.
“There were a few twinges in the car on the way home again, but at the moment we are still waiting.
“It was a shame we couldn’t beat Slough. But, although I finished the season in good form, I am looking forward to the summer with the baby as it has been a long season.”
Despite their mid-campaign financial problems, Bees ended the season as EPL Cup winners and play-off runners-up after finishing third in the league.
And although Bees failed to retain their play-off crown, Bicknell said: “I think it has been a successful season, especially as we were written off from the start and seemed to be fighting against everything.”
Berkshire neighbours Slough, who knocked out league winners Guildford Flames 4-3 in the semi-finals with the help of a hat-trick by ex-Bee Joe Ciccarello, eventually lifted their first trophy in nine years.
But Bicknell said: “We did superbly just to reach the play-off final. The competition was a lot closer this year. Any one of the eight teams who qualified for the play-offs could have won the competition.
“In the league we lacked consistency, beating the big teams but losing to the bottom two, Telford and Isle of Wight.
“Getting that winning mentality is what we have to focus on next year,” added 28-year-old Bicknell, who revealed he is keen to stay with the club for a fourth season.
“I am quite loyal and I like playing for Bracknell because my mates play for the team. If they stay then I want to too.”
EPL CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFFS
Sheffield 2 BEES 4
Periods: 0-1, 2-0, 0-3. PIMs: 8-39. SOG: 35-32.
BEES: Kanka 1+1, Parrish 1+1, Bicknell 1+0, Jasik 1+0, Thompson 0+1, Carlon 0+1, Melichar 0+1. Netminder: Rockman 35/2.
Sheffield: Wallace 1+1, Dowd 1+0, Shudra 0+1, Butterworth 0+1. Netminder: Jones 32/4.
BEES 1 Slough 4
Periods: 0-2, 1-1, 0-1. PIMs: 10-10. SOG: 33-31.
BEES: Thompson 1+0, Carlon 0+1. Netminder: Rockman 31/4.
Slough: Emersic 1+1, Krajicek 1+0, Redmond 1+0, Hargreaves 1+0, Moria 0+3, Ciccarello 0+2, Ward 0+1, Chinn 0+1. Netminder: Skinns 33/1.