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Match report: Bracknell Bees 3 - 2 Milton Keynes Thunder (After OT & Pens)

posted 22 Jan 2018, 12:30 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

It was a wet Sunday night in Bracknell and the Bees welcomed the MK Thunder to the Hive. Following a series of bad results, the Bees had slipped down to 5th in the league and were looking to steady the ship with a win against a solid Milton Keynes team. The Bees had a full roster to choose from for the first time in a long time. With both Thompsons (Carl and Shaun) icing, Scott Spearing took to the bench.

Starting in nets for the Thunder was former Bee Tom Annetts and for Bracknell Danny Milton.

In the stripes was referee Dan Boardman, ably assisted by linesmen Nathan Carmichael and Elliot Marshall.

The first period started badly for the Bees as, after Matt Foord was assessed an interference penalty it took the Thunder just 5 seconds to score with a slight deflection by Grant Mcpherson from a Jamie Line shot. The Bees were looking confident and put some nice moves together, with Carl Thompson and Tom Avery combining well with Thompson with great hands as he snaked his way through the defence, found space but his shot was well saved by Annetts. Despite the few good moves the Bees has, the defensive frailties were all too obvious as they struggled to get out of their own zone at times. They were also up against an inform Annetts who was stopping everything coming his way with ease.

Into the second and again Annetts once again came up big with a couple of huge saves, most notably from Bees danger man Frankie Bakrlik. With Bracknell having wasted several powerplays already, it took their 4th of the night before they were able to convert on one. From a face-off in MK's zone, Shaun Thompson found space and rifled the puck home to the top corner. Five minutes later and MK had retained their lead after a mistake by Harvey Stead turned the puck over where it was eventually pounced on by Jamie Line who roofed it beyond the diving Milton.

The final period started slowly with both teams cancelling each other out. Bracknell had more of the puck but could do little with it. That was until 45 minutes in when a Bakrlik slapshot hit a couple of players in front of the net and eventually found its way to Callum Best who picked up the puck and shot high over Annetts to once again draw the scores level. There were all too brief glimpses of good play in what was a rather flat Bees performance. James Galazzi passing to Danny Ingoldsby drew yet another save from Annetts, this time at point blank range. In a rare burst forward, Bees defenceman Josh Tetlow showed his skill set, taking on the Thunder defence and again, bringing a save out of Annetts.

2-2 after 60 minutes and the game went to overtime. Bracknell looked more than happy to see out the 5 additional minutes where-as MK were more offensively minded, bringing Milton into a couple of key saves to keep the game alive. Overtime still couldn't separate the two sides and we went to penalties.

Milton Keynes were up first and Jamie Line saw his penalty saved by Danny Milton. Best took the Bees first and scored, shooting the puck through the legs of Annetts. Next for MK was Ross Bowers who had his effort saved. For Bracknell it was Shaun Thompson, but he too had his shot saved. The third penalty for the Thunder was taken by Gareth O'Flaherty who needed to score to keep the tie alive. He didn't as Milton saved yet again and Bracknell eventually took the 2 points.

The Bees need to be more organised and find the form they had at the start of the season if they want to take some confidence into the back end of the season and beyond to the play-offs. Had they played like that against someone like Peterborough or Basingstoke they would have been punished for not taking their chances and been lucky to even get a point from the game.

Match stats
Period Scores: 0-1; 1-1; 1-0; 0-0
Bees scorers: Best 1+1; S.Thompson 1+0; Avery 0+2; Bakrlik 0+1
Thunder scorers: Line 1+1; McPherson 1+0; Bowers 0+2; Carlon 0+1
Bees PIMS: 2 (Foord 2)
Thunder PIMS: 12 (Bench 4; Barnes-Garner, Green, Carlon & Bowers 2)
Shots on Bees (Milton): 17 (5, 6, 3, 3)
Shots on Thunder (Annetts): 34 (10, 11, 12, 1)