Building the Herd – Stuart Mogg

#94 Stuart Mogg

Position: Forward

Born: Basingstoke, Hampshire

Announced as signed: Bison website, 31st July

(c) 5 Hole Photography

(c) 5 Hole Photography

Having not expected any news until the now cancelled shirt launch night next Wednesday, the Bison fans were surprised with at least one bit of good news by Doug Sheppard that Stuart Mogg is returning to the Herd for 2014/15. Speaking briefly to Banners On The Wall, Mogg said “Last season was such an honour. The team, fans and staff were incredible and I cant wait to get started again this season, and hope to make a bigger impact than last season.

Mogg, 20 started his hockey in the Basingstoke junior system playing under 16s in 2007/08 where he scored 7 points in 16 games. Mogg played 3 years of under 16s till the end of the 2009/10 season totalling 49 games and 58 points. 2009/10 also saw Mogg’s debut and single season for the Bison under 18s where he scored 6 points in 13 games.

2010/11 saw a change of scene for Mogg as he moved across to the Hanger to join the Jets organisation. Mogg spent 2 seasons at Slough playing for nearly every team going across the club from under 18 to both levels of NIHL South including 1 point in 3 games with the EPL side. Mogg totalled 30 games and 75 points at under 18 and 54 games and 41 points at ENL level.

After passing the point where his junior career in Britain was done, Mogg took the chance to move to Canada to play for the North York, Ontario based Toronto Attack of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. Mogg, who scored a goal in the Attack’s first ever home game against the Toronto Moose, played 23 games for in the GMHL before heading back to Britain. Mogg then guested for the Bison for the rest of the season as well as playing 5 games and scoring 7 points for the Buffalo in NIHL 2 South before being added to the Bison roster full time for 2013/14. As part of the Youth Brigade/White Line, Mogg was used sparingly at times but was regularly given a chance to impress either as a unit or given the chance to step up higher up the order when an injury occurred. Mogg scored his first EPL for the Bison away at the Skydome when the Bison routed the MK Lightning 6-2 in February. His first home marker came on the 1st March in a home game against Slough, literally beating the buzzer as he fired past Andrej Vasiljevic as the Bison won 6-2. Mogg’s final totals for the season were 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points in 50 games and 2 PIMs. Mogg also made 1 appearance in the NIHL South 2 for the Buffalo.

Stuart’s efforts across the season saw Doug Sheppard create a new award of Most Improved Player at the end of season’s awards night. Stuart also represented GB Universities at the Universade in Trentino scoring GB’s first goal of the tournament and was part of the Southampton Spitfires university team that won the recent BUIH nationals.

The first winner of the award is going to go to a guy that I actually told wasn’t good enough to play in the EPL a couple of years ago but he’s definitely proved me wrong. He’s worked hard and he honestly is like a sponge. He’ll just listen to whatever anyone has to say and take it on.” Doug Sheppard, Bison 2013/14 awards night

Stuart Mogg, along with the rest of the 4th line of youngsters the Bison played last season always kind of got that “good on you lad” pat on the head treatment at times last season. The local lads that we hoped would get that bit of extra ice time and had to wait till the game was over as a contest before they did. The thing with Mogg was that actually he’d come into the side with a bit more experience that the other members of the line and many had forgotten that. Whilst Ingoldsby had been playing in Guildford’s juniors and Wynn had been playing u18s in Basingstoke and sitting on the Bison bench as we agonisingly waited for him to score, Mogg was out playing. Before coming to the Bison, Moggy had over 50 games of NIHL/ENL experience as well as ice time in Canada. Now whilst the GMHL isn’t the highest of standards in the grander scheme of Canadian junior hockey, it’s a higher standard than under 18s hockey here. Mogg, as the more natural centre of the three however had to bide his time a bit. His game wasn’t the gung ho, hit everything that moved style of Ingoldsby nor the finesse skilled winger that Wynn is but he bided his time and proved more than capable when called upon.

He’s got good hands, reads the game relatively well and you could see the confidence grow as the season went on. He felt like he was playing well, like he deserved the ice time and with that came the scoring chances. There was a moment when earlier in the season that Mogg and Melachrino were sprung two on one and with Mogg on the puck, the entire crowd screamed pass at him (he did, and Melachrino score) but as the fans got more used to his style of play and Mogg came along, the crowd started encouraging him more to shoot. His goal at home against Slough was just reward for his tenacity on the night and was almost something of a metaphor for his season; noticed at times but always there, always trying and when given the chance, he does the business.

Doug Sheppard is, despite the club’s upcoming podcast interview with him, not a particularly vocal man so for him to stand in front of the players and fans and say he had painted Stuart Mogg wrong is a big thing. Moggy, as he said above, wants to make a bigger impact. The coach is giving him the chance and alongside his childhood friend Dan Weller-Evans, I hope that he takes the chance to do so.

Welcome back, Moggy; I’ll let the guys make the funky pigeon jokes.

Additional: In amongst the release on Stuart’s re-signing was the news that ADD Recycling have pulled out as the lead sponsor of the Basingstoke Bison. The comment from the club to BOTW on the matter was “It’s business as usual, we’ll have more news in the coming weeks. There is no doubt about our participation in the coming season.”


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