STUART Mogg cannot wait to lead Bracknell Bees into National Ice Hockey League action against arch-rivals Basingstoke on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

The first-season skipper will be up against his home-town club, having spent six seasons playing for them before moving to The Hive.

"Obviously, I am looking forward to the game, it's a big one for me," he said.

"The rivalry between the two clubs is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in our league.

"They are usually good games and so it will be really good if we can get the win."

Being appointed captain adds to Mogg's responsibilities, but he is certainly not lacking in confidence.

"It's an honour," said the 25-year-old defender, who was appointed by head coach Doug Sheppard before the start of his second season at the club.

"I have worked with Doug for such a long time – both at Basingstoke and here (Bracknell) – and it was nice of him to reward me with the captain's seat.

"I have a good relationship with the players here and get on with everyone. It is easy for me to react and have a good conversation with the lads."

And no doubt among the topics discussed this week was the reason for their 2-1 overtime defeat at the hands of Swindon Wildcats last Sunday.

"We got back into the game and equalised with a minute and a half to go, so to lose in overtime was disappointing," Mogg told the News.

"But it was still good to pick up a point against one of the best teams in the league. They are a very offensive team and I think they have scored the most goals in the league so far this season, which means they are always getting a lot of opportunities.

"We didn't play badly in defence and Gossy (keeper Adam Goss) played well again. He is in really good form.

"We still need to play better offensively and score some more goals."

Mogg agreed it was a "big improvement" on his side's performance eight days earlier when they slumped to a 5-0 defeat at Swindon.

He added: "We have worked hard in practice on mistakes we made in that loss and we will continue to practice this week and again work on things we can take into next weekend's two games."

Bees travel to Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday before hosting Basingstoke at the John Nike Stadium on Sunday (5.30pm).

"Hopefully we will get our first four-point weekend of the season," added Mogg.

The TSI World-sponsored side will go into the games without James Galazzi, who is still recovering from his shoulder injury, and Brendan Baird, who is serving a four-match suspension imposed by the NIHL following an incident in the recent home game against MK Lightning.