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Match report: Bracknell Bees 2 - 3 Basingstoke Bison

posted 9 Jan 2018, 00:10 by john slater   [ updated 9 Jan 2018, 00:28 ]

Match report by Ashley Willitt

Sundays home tie against fierce local rivals the Basingstoke Bison saw a good turn out of both home and away fans. They were in for a good game of physical, skillful hockey as Bracknell were searching for that elusive win and Basingstoke were looking to keep in touch with Peterborough at the top of the table.

Once again this referee was Stephen Mathews, this time joined by Flynn Sitch-Cunningham and Justin Lalonde. In goal for the Bees was Alex Mettam and for Basingstoke was Dean Skinns.
Early on in period 1 and an early chance for the Bison went begging as Vanya Antonov was denied by the post following a delayed penalty call. With the Bees playing good, hard hockey the Bison were losing their temper and not getting the calls they believed they should. With Bracknell on a  5 on 3 powerplay a huge slapshot from Frankie Bakrlik was only parried by Skinns. The rebound was fed to Thompson from Avery, who tucked the puck past Skinns giving Bracknell the lead on 10 minutes. Moments later and Harvey Stead had an opportunity on goal but found the post. While the Bees were still on the powerplay Basingstoke sprung up the ice with Aaron Connolly feeding Roman Malinik who scored past Mettam.

Shortly into the second period and with a face-off in the Bees zone, a Bison win straight from it resulted it Grant Rounding giving the Bison the lead. The game went back and forth with neither side getting a handle on controlling it. Bracknell were looking strong and continued their hard checking game. Unfortunately, the Bees were a little too concerned with finishing their checks and being physically dominant as Roman Malinik found his way through, shot low and to the right of Mettam, giving the Bison a 3-1 lead, much against the run of play. With the Bison encouraged by the goal and Bracknell showing signs of losing their composure, Mathews called a penalty shot, deeming Josh Smith was denied a clear goal scoring opportunity - much to the disbelief of fans and players alike. Smith, having scored a couple of penalties in a previous meeting between the two sides earlier on in the season, was this time denied by Mettam. Moments later and Smith had another chance against Mettam, but was stopped by a huge glove save from the Bees net-minder.

The third period proved something of an anti climax, with neither team showing enough intent. Bracknell just couldn't break down the Bison defence as they did their best to shut up shop and close down anything the Bees tried to do. It wasn't until late in the period that Bracknell's desperation led them to pull Mettam for a 6th skater. This time the extra attacker worked as Callum Best finished off a diligent and well worked move, having the composure to wait for Skinns to commit himself, before shooting the puck high over the sprawled goalie. With Joe Baird given a penalty after contesting the goal, the Bees finished the game on the powerplay but just couldn't find enough to get the equalizing goal.

So it finished 3-2 to Basingstoke, but once again every player put in 110% on the ice and were duly cheered loudly and proudly by every Bees fan attendance. 

Match Stats
Period Scores: 1-1; 0-2; 1-0
Bees scorers: Best & Thompson 1+0; Avery 0+2; Bakrlik 0+1
Bison scorers: Malinik 2+0; Rounding 1+0; Baird, Sutton, Karpov, Connolly & Mogg 0+1
Bees PIMS: 8 (Bakrlik 4; Avery & Spearing 2)
Bison PIMS: 16 (Baird 14, Reynolds 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 26 (8, 12, 6)
Shots on Bison (Skinns): 28 (12, 9, 7)