We have the talent to extinguish Flames tooBy Alan Manicom
October 24, 2008
Bracknell Bees bench coach Steve Gannaway has resisted the temptation to seek outside help on beating Guildford Flames ahead of tomorrow’s trip to the English Premier League leaders (6pm face-off).
His former club, Isle of Wight Raiders, have produced two of the biggest shocks of the season so far by winning 5-4 and 6-4 at the Spectrum.
And Gannaway admits: “It has crossed my mind to contact them, but I have not yet plucked up the courage to ask how they did it.”
But he insists Bees’ squad is tactically astute anyway and revealed the players are already working on their own way to avenge the 4-1 defeat at the hands of their local rivals on the opening day of the season.
“When we first played Guildford, we were not as fit as them because we had not had the advantage of all the pre-season training they had been able to do.
“There were a few tired legs at the end, but I am hoping we will have a lot more stamina this time,” said Gannaway, who joined Bees in the summer after 10 seasons as a defenceman for Isle of Wight
“With the team we have got, we should be able to deal with Guildford ourselves.
“We did not get the puck deep in their end to create pressure. We need to sustain that and hopefully they will back off a bit and give us more space.
“They were very good at working the puck behind our defence.
“But, if they have any weakness it is their defence and we will need to turn them by creating pressure on their goal,” added the 35-year-old coach.
Gannaway believes first-line forward Joe Greener could be key to the plan, adding: “When he starts driving to the net hard with pucks flying in, there are not a lot of defences able to deal with his size.”
Bees’ 18-year-old Reading-born forward Tom Duggan has also impressed Gannaway following his arrival at the Hive this season.
“Nothing has fazed him,” said Gannaway. “Tom started the season splitting ice time as one of four players on the third line.
“Some would have struggled playing on the powerplay when they weren’t getting regular shifts, but he didn’t. He has since been used on the second and first lines and has been very consistent for his age.”
Bees were forced to train at Slough on Wednesday night after cancelling the previous night’s session at Bracknell because the ice was being relaid there.
But the problems with the refrigerating unit that caused the postponement of last Sunday’s home game against Slough Jets have been fixed.
And Bees were given the go-ahead to train at the Hive last night and told Sunday’s home game against Milton Keynes Lightning will definitely take place (6pm face-off).
Gannaway said: “We have beaten Milton Keynes twice so far this season (5-3 and 5-2) and right now home results are huge for us, so we have to win.”
Bees can close the gap on Guildford this weekend to three points or less – and still have two games in hand.
Gannaway added: “The league is that much stronger this year. Whoever works harder on the night wins. As long as we stay in the mix right now we will be happy."