'Rocket shot' joins Bees

Published: 24 May 2012 13:300 comments

BRACKNELL Bees have raided rivals Basingstoke Bison to sign highly-rated Slovakian defenceman Marcel Petran.

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The burly blue-liner will bolster Bees' defence for the forthcoming English Premier Ice Hockey League campaign.

The 25-year-old becomes the third player to join Gareth Cox's squad in the past week following Martin Masa and James Galazzi who have now re-re-signed at The Hive.

The 6ft 3ins star had a superb debut season in the UK with the Bison. And with a 'rocket shot' being part of his armoury, Cox expects Petran to be a big hit with Bees fans.

"Marcel had a fantastic year in Basingstoke and certainly proved to be one of the league's top defenceman," declared Cox, who also brought in ex-Bison Oli Brönnimann recently.

"He plays a hard-hitting, physical and defensive game and has a rocket of a shot.

"I'm not sure exactly how many of his points were picked up on the powerplay, but in the matches against us last season he showed what a valuable asset he is to have on the blue line, raining shot after shot on goal."

Petran made an instant impact in the EPIHL last season, finishing as the league's second highest points-scoring defenceman with 18 goals and 27 assists in 56 matches, whilst also picking up 130 penalty minutes.

Petran also struck up a formidable partnership with Sam Oakford and the pair will now be reunited at The Hive next season after Oakford re-joined Bees last month.

"Marcel looks after himself and his team-mates and at least he'll join some familiar faces at The Hive in Sam Oakford and Oli Brönnimann," added Cox. "Over the last couple of seasons, our transitional play in turning defence into attack has struggled at times. But Marcel, along with Sam, will give us a great boost."

Petran spent most of his career with Slovakian Extraliga side MHK 32, making his debut as a 20-year-old. He also had a brief spell in Hungary with Újpesti TE.

He has played 431 games, scored 70 goals, picked up 104 assists and spent 917 minutes in the penalty box.

Bees general manager Stuart Robinson is delighted to have secured the services of such a quality player from their rivals, though the club have bid farewell to Sergejs Louskins and Brad Watchorn.

"We've certainly benefited from the personnel changes in Basingstoke and Marcel will be a huge hit with supporters at the Hive along with Sam and Oli."

"In welcoming Marcel though, we say farewell and thank you to Sergejs Louskins, who has moved to Paris to join the Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne. Serge was a great guy to have around last season and did exactly the job that we needed from him. He will always receive a warm welcome whenever in Bracknell."

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