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Match Report: Bracknell Bees 3 - 4 Telford Tigers

posted 12 Dec 2017, 00:38 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

On a rare Saturday evening game, the Bees welcomed the Telford Tigers to the Hive. The Bees form in the NIHL National cup has not been great and were on the brink of elimination before the arrival of the red hot Tigers.

During the warm up, the Tigers number two net minder Adam Taylor was struck in the throat area and didn't dress for the game, leaving the onus on Denis Bell to take full game duties between the pipes. In the Bees net was Alex Mettam, backed up by James Richardson, a new addition to the Bees squad, covering for the injured Danny Milton. Also missing for the Bees were Harvey Stead out with a knee injury, Josh Tetlow on GB under 20's duties, Scott Spearing and Shaun Thompson both with injuries.

The game was initially delayed as officials Paul Brooks, Elliot Marshall and James Ions were held up on the way to Bracknell, but further ice issues meant that the game was approximately 45 minutes late starting.

The Tigers certainly weren't affected by the increased delay and went straight on the offensive, taking less than 2 minutes to get on the board first as a slip by Jan Bendik was gladly collected by Brodie Jesson whose shot was well saved by Mettam only for the rebound to be tucked away by Scott Mckenzie. The Bees didnt take too long to get into gear and a dumped puck in behind Bell was mishandled and bounced back in front of goal, however it fell kindly to a Telford player who cleared the danger. Moments later a shot in from George Norcliffe was tipped by James Galazzi in front of Bell, but the Telford goalie saved well. It was just minutes later that a mistake by Telford fell to none other than Frankie Bakrlik who took an early shot which was saved by Bell only for the rebound to fall perfectly at his stick and he rounded the goalie and backhanded it into the open net. The Bracknell forwards seemed to have a little confidence back as Callum Best and Josh Ealey-Newman combined well to test Bell, as did Jared Lane and Galazzi. Despite some good Bees pressure it was Telford who would end the period a goal up with a rather soft for Bracknell to concede via McKenzie with his second.

Into the middle period and for a long while neither team could get a grip on the game. it became disjointed as both sides were unable to string some successful passes together to create any form of offence. Mettam was being kept just as busy as Bell having to make several saves, none more important or as impressive as one from Telford's in form player Scott McKenzie. Around the 33 minute mark Bakrlik was checked hard and seemingly to the head as the big Czech forward lay uncomfortably on the ice, but for some reason the referee didn't stop the game and Telford went down the other end and scored through Jason Silverthorn. Much to the anger of the entire Bracknell team and after a solid scrap between Siverthorn and Josh Martin the officials called it a good goal and gave the visitors a 3-1 lead. The referee seemed to be losing control of the game as players were taking the game into their own hands due to some calls they seemed to feel were questionable. The disruption seemed to work against the Bees as their frustrations were compounded further with a Telford fourth goal after a save by Mettam squeezed under his pads and lay tantalizingly in the grease for about a second before McKenzie got to it first and pocked it home to complete his hat-trick. Bracknell never let their heads down and just 3 minutes later a beautiful strech pass from Jan Bendik, while Telford were on a line change, saw Alex Barker clean through on goal and who shot 5-hole on Bell to bring the game, and the supporting fans back to life. With just over 2 minutes left of the period and the Bees were looking for another goal, a solid slap-shot by Luke Jackson rung off the post and was gladly gathered up by Bell on the rebound.

The final period wad still anyone's game and the Bees were pushing forward on every possible opportunity. They were just coming up against Bell who was putting whatever he could in the way to stop the puck, even deflecting one off his mask onto the crossbar and out over the plexi. A fairly even period as the shot count shows but it was the Bees with more of the clear chances yet couldn't put them away until a clearance from the Bees zone fell nicely to Bakrlik who skated down the ice and from the face off dot fired hard past Bell making it 4-3 with 16 minutes left to play. The Bees, however, just couldn't get anything to go as the Tigers defence held firm. Despite pulling Mettam for the final few seconds to give them a 6th skater, they just couldnt find a way to the net and it was the visitors who left with the points.

Match stats
Period Scores: 1-2; 1-2; 1-0
Bees scorers: Bakrlik 2+0; Barker 1+0; Galazzi, C.Thompson, Bendik, Mettam & Martin 0+1
Tigers scorers: McKenzie 3+0; Silverthorn 1+1; Miller 0+2; Goodison, Plant & Jesson 0+1
Bees PIMS: 24 (Bakrlik 12; Foord 6; Martin 4; B.Ealey-Newman 2)
Tigers PIMS: 10 (Silverthorn 4; Goodison, Miller & J.Watkins 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 30 (11, 10, 9)
Shots on Tigers (Bell): 27 (9, 10, 8)