Basingstoke Bison
League English Premier Ice Hockey League
Founded 1988
History 'Basingstoke Beavers'
'Basingstoke Bison'
since 1995
Arena Planet Ice Silverdome
Capacity 1,800
City Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Team Colours Black, White, Red & Green
Head coach Steve Moria
Owners Planet Ice
Team Captain Brent Hughes

The Basingstoke Bison are an English ice hockey club from Basingstoke.

History[edit | edit source]

Formed in 1988 as the Basingstoke Beavers, the club soon became the butt of jokes when it was realised that Canadian players would not sign for a club whose name is Canadian slang for a part of the female anatomy.

The "Beavers" became the "Bison" in 1995. Their team logo (see right) is very similar to that used by the Buffalo Sabres from 1996-2006.

Joining the Superleague in 1996, the Bison dropped out in 1998 and joined the British National League. In 2003 they joined the newly formed Elite Ice Hockey League.

Despite being one of the lower budget teams in the EIHL, the Bison have maintained their fan base and greatly enhanced local sponsorships and doubled their season ticket sales.

This success is mainly testament to the hard work of Mark Bernard, who occupied the General Manager and Head Coach role with the club during the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons. Bernard also stepped into the Netminder's role part way through the latter season after Jayme Platt had left the team!

In May 2006, Bernard left the club to take up the Assistant General Managers post at American Hockey League side the Norfolk Admirals. Prior to his departure, Bernard secured the services of a number of the players that made up the 05/06 roster.

In June 2006, Planet Ice announced that the new player / coach of the club would be former club captain Doug Sheppard, with former Bison and London Racers defenceman Duncan Dalmao returning as player / assistant coach. Shepherd set about building his roster around the core that he had inherited from Bernard.

Bison embarked upon a successful year under Shepherd, securing their highest ever Elite League finish, and taking many points off the top sides in the League.

In April 2007, David Taylor, owner of Bracknell Bees, purchased the Bison. He appointed Ryan Aldridge as the Head Coach of the team, signalling the end of Doug Shepherd's reign. Shepherd went on to join rivals Sheffield Steelers.

Following financial problems, which had resulted in the departure of a number of players (including starting netminder Stevie Lyle), Taylor relinquished ownership of the Bison and the team's new owner was announced as Tomas Enerston by Planet Ice on November 8th, 2007.

Less than a year later, following further financial difficulty, Planet Ice put together a rescue package to keep Bison on the ice until the end of the 2008/09 season.

On the 25th of March 2009, the Bison released a statement confirming that they will be joining the EPL for the 2009/10 season.

Honoured members[edit | edit source]

Basingstoke have only retired the number of one player, that being Kevin Conway's number 10 in 2005 following his initial retirement from ice hockey. In the 2005–06 season, Tony Redmond was honoured with a testimonial season.

Team Honours[edit | edit source]

  • Champions - English Div 1 Promotion Play-offs
  • Winners - Southern Cup
  • Champions - Heineken Division One
  • Champions - Heineken Div 1 Promomtion Play-offs
  • Runners-up - Southern Cup
  • Runners-up - Southern Cup
  • Runners-up - Southern Cup
  • Runners-up - British National Ice Hockey League
  • Runners-up - Christmas Cup
  • Winners - B & H Plate
  • Runners-up - ntl: Christmas Cup
  • Runners-up - BNL Play-off Championships
  • Winners - B & H Plate
  • Runners-up - Findus British National Ice Hockey League
  • Runners-up - FBNL Play-off Championships

Past Head Coaches[edit | edit source]

  • Doug Sheppard - 2006-2007 - Player / Head Coach
  • Mark Bernard - 2004-2006 - Player / Head Coach / General Manager
  • Steve Moria - 2002-2004 - Player / Head Coach
  • Charlie Colon - 2000-2002 - Head Coach
  • Rick Strachan - 1999-2000 - Player / Head Coach
  • Don Depoe - 1998-1999 - Head Coach

Past Players[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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