BRACKNELL Bees are continuing to set a blistering pace in NIHL South One following two more wins.

They came from behind to beat Raiders 3-2 away and followed up with a 2-0 home win over Milton Keynes Thunder to complete another four-point weekend.

The weekend double means Bees have now won six of their seven matches, leaving them top of the South 1 table with 12 points as they prepare to host their unbeaten local rivals, Swindon Wildcats, this coming Sunday (6pm face-off).

Last Saturday, the Berkshire Cycles-sponsored side had to pull out all the stops to secure a narrow victory at the Sapphire Ice Rink in Romford.

They had fallen behind to a Jake Sylvester goal in the 34th minute, but 31 seconds into the final period Shaun Thompson brought the scores level from Josh Martin’s pass.

A minute later Scott Spearing and Stuart Mogg engineered a swift breakaway that led to Ivan Antonov putting them ahead.

The home side, beaten 6-4 at the Hive last month, equalised through Filip Sedivy in the 47th minute to leave the game evenly poised.

However, Raiders, the team with the worst disciplinary record in the division – their forward Blaho Novak received a match penalty for butt-ending in the opening period – were punished for having too many men on the ice with just over six minutes left to play.

And Bees took advantage of the power play with Harvey Stead powering home the winner after assists from Zach Milton and Josh Smith, having outshot Raiders 37-27 during the evening. Their man of the match was Antonov.

Head coach Doug Sheppard commented: “I thought we played some of our best hockey so far this season on Saturday.”

Against MK Thunder, Bees took a 12th-minute lead through Roman Malinik with Spearing and Ed Knaggs providing the assists.

And former MK player Knaggs also had a hand in the second goal, aided by Thompson, with Martin providing the finish just after the 28-minute mark.

A minute later, Martin was again the centre of attention, this time getting involved in a punch-up with Grant MacPherson close to Bracknell’s net, with both players picking up penalties.

Netminder Dean Skinns was Bees’ man of the match after his first clean sheet of the season, having stood firm against 17 shots at his net, 10 of them coming in the middle period.

But it was a different story at the other end of the rink, with the hosts amassing 41 goal attempts.

Sheppard described the shutout as “another good sign” for his team, but added: “We know we have to work hard and keep improving in every practice and every game.”

Bees will be looking to complete a quick double on Saturday (6.45pm face-off) when they visit MK, who remain winless after five matches, before entertaining M4 rivals Swindon the following evening.

The Wiltshire side got their belated league campaign underway last weekend with a comfortable double over a depleted Invicta Dynamos side, winning 4-0 at home and 8-0 in Kent.