Frankie Bakrlik returns to the ice this coming weekend – and that is great news for Bracknell Bees, writes Dave Wright.

The Czech hot-shot has missed the last six games through suspension with Bees losing all of them.

But the 34-year-old forward’s ban, imposed for an incident during the game at Invicta Dynamos, is now completed, enabling him to play in the NIHL Division One South game at Streatham on Saturday (6.45pm).

The major blow in losing Bakrlik, who has scored 20 goals in 11 league games, was slightly softened by the fact that only two of the games he missed were in the league, the other four coming in the National Cup where Bracknell face elimination at the group stage.

Bees remain third in the league with 20 points, three fewer than leaders Peterborough Phantoms, while between them are Basingstoke Bison with maximum points from 10 games.

Bees have also been without the injured Shaun Thompson, their second-highest scorer, with 12 league goals, as well as player-coach Scott Spearing, still recovering from his recent head injury.

In the meantime, Spearing has released forward Steve Osman, who only joined the club in the summer.

Explaining his reasons, Spearing said: “Decisions like this are never easy to make and certainly not pleasant to have to do.

“But it is something that I feel I had to do to move the squad forward in an effort to get back on track and ensure we are playing the way that we need to and get the results we want, following a good start to the season.

“Steve is a professional, genuine and honest person and you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer guy. He is well-liked and respected by players, management and fans alike, which made releasing him even more difficult.

“I would like to thank him for his time and efforts with us and wish him all the best for the future.”

Spearing is now expected to give Hornets forward Ben Ealey-Newman a regular place in his Bees squad.

The 20-year-old from Warfield played in both games last weekend when Bracknell lost 6-1 at Basingstoke Bison on Saturday and 4-3 at home to Swindon Wildcats on Sunday.

Bees remain bottom of Group D which is headed by Swindon with maximum points from six games, but they certainly gave the Wildcats a fright at The Hive on Sunday.

The hosts twice took the lead through Callum Best in the 13th minute and James Galazzi in the 35th.

Alex Barker was involved in both goals and it needed a smart save by keeper Renny Marr to stop him from getting on the scoresheet himself.

While Bees squandered chances, Swindon drew level through teenager Jordan Kelsall (34th) and skipper Jan Kostal (43rd) before sealing the victory with strikes from Aaron Nell on 45 and 57 minutes.

Bracknell, who had Danny Ingoldsby thrown out of the match after 37 minutes following a scuffle, netted a late third goal from skipper Matt Foord with George Norcliffe providing the assist.

Jan Bendik was voted Bees’ player of the match, with Jack Hayes having earned the award at Basingstoke on Saturday.

Josh Martin netted a late consolation goal on a night when Bees managed only 14 shots at goal compared to Bison’s 43.

Bees conceded two goals in the opening 15 minutes with three more coming in as many minutes during the second period.

There is no home game this coming weekend and the Bees’ next visitors are Telford Tigers on Saturday, December 9 in the National Cup.

Former player-coach Lukas Smital made an unhappy return to the Hive on Saturday with his new Slough Jets side being thrashed 9-3 by Bracknell Hornets in front of a crowd of around 400.

Former Bee Adam Bicknell was voted player of the match on his debut for the Hornets, having assisted in three of the goals, scored by Josh Ealey-Newman (3 and one assist), Sean Scarborough (2+2), Steven Fisher (2+1), Daniel Hughes (1+2) and Carl Graham.