The TSI World Bees Ice Hockey Club prepare for their first weekend of the 2021/22 ice hockey season by beginning pre-season. This weekend’s opponents are Raiders IHC.

On Saturday evening the Bees skate out on home ice in their new home at Slough Ice Arena and for the first time get to welcome supporters to the rink. Face-off for Saturday is 5.15pm, doors open 1 hour ahead of face-off at tickets are just £5 for this weekend.

On Sunday night the Bees will journey to Romford to take on the Raiders in the second leg at 5.15 at Sapphire Ice.

Bees and Raiders are no stranger to each other having become fierce rivals on the ice over the last few seasons, including the recent Spring Cup.

Raiders are backstopped by 22 year old Ethan James who’s forging a reputation as a young goalie with a bright future. Alternate Captain Dan Scott leads the defence with a mixture of youth and experience lining up alongside him. Essex stalwart Sean Barry, Jack Cooper, Callum Wells and Tom Relf all share blue line duties with him while 20 year old Callum Burnett starts his fourth season with the club.

Up front the Raider again have a mixture of youth and experience. Captain Aaron Connolly finished third in the Raiders scoring in last season’s Spring Cup. Raiders also boast talented youngsters Brandon Ayliffe, Rio Grinnell-Parke and Jake Sylvester as well as 19 year old Tommy Huggett. Jacob Ranson, and JJ Pitchley complete the Raiders Brit forwards.

Coach Sean Easton has gone for 25 year old Czech Lukas Sladkovsky and 35 year old Erik Piatak as his non-EIHA trained players with both players being forwards. In his last completed season with the Raiders Piatak notched up 59 points from 39 games and Sladovsky returned 50 points from 49 games.

Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard looked ahead to the weekend; “The guys can’t wait to get back on the ice with fans in the building. I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere Saturday night, with our fans having to wait 18 months to see live hockey. No question the players will feed off the energy and give them plenty to cheer about.”

Bees play on home ice at Slough Ice Arena on Saturday, tickets are just £5 for this opening match. Doors open at 4.15pm for a 5.15pm face-off. On Sunday Bees play in Romford in 5.15pm face-off.