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Match report: Bracknell Bees 3 - 4 Swindon Wildcats

posted 29 Nov 2017, 10:31 by john slater   [ updated 29 Nov 2017, 10:32 ]

Match report by Ashley Willitt

Sunday night and the Bees welcomed the Swindon Wildcats and their noisy crew to the Hive. Recent games this season against the Wildcats have been tough but exciting affairs and this was to be no exception.

The Bees were still without Frankie Bakrlik, serving the last game of him ban and Shaun Thompson, still out injured. Having released Steve Osman midweek they were hoping to rely on the remaining forwards and the Ealey-Newman brothers, called up from the Hornets

Refereeing the game was William Hewitt, while Justin Lalonde and Nathan Carmichael ran the lines. Starting goalies were Alex Mettam for the Bees and Renny Marr for the Wildcats.

In a lively first few minutes both teams took a couple of penalties but could do little with the man advantage as each defence held firm, backed up by some solid netminding by both Mettam and Marr. Bracknell were getting some good shots in on Marr in a positive change from their absent offensive game the previous night. After a couple of face-offs a Ben Ealey-Newman shot found its way through to clear ice where Alex Barker got it to Callum Best whose shot squirmed through Marrs legs making it 1-0 to the Bees. Bracknell were working hard to be the better team throughout the first period and battled hard along the boards, winning the 50/50's and passing smoothly and confidently up and down the ice.

The Bees were hoping to continue the second period as they had left the first and gritty forward Josh Martin was clearly keen to get on the score-sheet. With great skill, he moved nicely up the ice taking on defenders, but couldn't get his shot away. Supporting him on the attack was Jan Bendik but the Bees Slovakian defence-man was unable the pick up the pieces and the chance went begging. The Wildcats were handed a powerplay after Bendik got called for hooking but were unable to to do a lot with it, Mettam saving everything coming his way. Swindon did manage to draw the game level after 33 minutes with a Jordan Kelsall shot from a narrow angle, squeezing the puck through between the post and Mettam. Just over a minute later and a James Galazzi breakaway looked like a clear chance for the Bees to re-take the lead, but a miscontrol of the puck almost wasted the opportunity. He regained the puck, passed to Alex Barker whose shot was saved, only for the puck to come straight back to Galazzi, who made no mistake on his second chance and hit his shot over Marr. Towards the end of the period, Sam Godfrey got called for a cross check to the back of Danny Ingoldsby who saw the red mist, flung off his gloves and dropped Godfrey to the ice with a barrage of unanswered punches to which he got a roughing match penalty.

Into the third period and the Wildcats were not going to give up the game without a fight. Only 2 minutes in and following a few good saves by Mettam, Swindon equalised through Jan Kostal after being fed a great pass by Chris Jones to which the Cats captain had to just tip the puck first time at the back post. Two minutes later and the Wildcats took their first lead of the night with a breakaway goal by Aaron Nell, going top corner on Mettam. Bracknell weren't going to let the visitors take the game away from them and a Harvey Stead shot rebounded from the back boards got deflected in front of goal, but was cleared before anyone in black, white and gold could get a stick on it. Swindon were just too quick on the break out for the Bees to cope with and couldn't get back to cover a Max Birbraer pass to Nell, who buried the shot with conviction. At 4-2 down the Bees never gave up and would eventually have a 5 on 3 powerplay which they boosted by pulling Mettam to give them 6 skaters. After a patient build up a shot from the point by Norcliffe was deflected in by Matt Foord and past the helpless Marr, but it was too little too late and the Wildcats ran out 4-3 winners.

Match stats
Period scores: 1-0; 1-1; 1-3
Bees Scorers: Galazzi, Best & Foord 1+0; Barker 0+2; Norcliffe 0+1
Wildcats scorers: Nell 2+0; Kostal & Kelsall 1+0; Jones, Zajac & Bribraer 0+2; Whitfield 0+1
Bees PIMS: 37 (Ingoldsby 25; Bendik 8; Foord & Bench 2)
Wildcats PIMS: 22 (Godfrey 16; Hill, Kostal & Bribraer 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 32 (10, 12, 10)
Shots on Wildcats (Marr): 29 (8, 12, 9)