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Match report: Bracknell Bees 4 - 5 Basingstoke Bison (After overtime & penalty shots)

posted 16 Oct 2017, 12:53 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

After a well deserved Saturday off, the Bees hosted fierce local rivals the Basingstoke Bison to the Hive on Sunday. In front of a good crowd, those in attendance were in for a real back and forth battle between two of the top sides in this seasons cup competition.

Starting netminders were veteran Dean Skinns for the Bison and Bees stalwart Alex Mettam. Team stripes consisted of referee Mathew Thompson and linesmen Justin Lalonde and Andrew Strain. The Bees were still missing Alex Barker and also Steve Osman.

The first period saw both teams playing really well and there were several good chances for both sides, but each netminder stood firm. Frankie Bakrlik with the Bees best chance shooting a huge one-timer from a Thompson pass just 6 feet outside the crease, but it struck the metal work and flew high and out of play. New Basingstoke signing Roman Malinik was causing the Bees defence all kinds of problems and is clearly going to make a huge difference as the season rolls on, bringing a huge save out of Mettam midway through the period.

The first goal of the game came on 13 minutes when a giveaway by Harvey Stead on the Bees blue-line led to Mettams goal coming under fire. After some great saves by Mettam and some determined work by Malinik the Bees goalie could not stop Ryan Sutton's shot after at least three juicy rebounds. The Bees discipline was starting to be their own worst enemy as a couple of minutes after conceding they found themselves on a 3 on 5 penalty kill after cross checking penalties against both James Galazzi and Josh Martin. The Bison made the Bees pay as deep into their powerplay Daniel Scott made it 2-0. Back to four skaters but still on the penalty kill, the Bees pulled one goal back almost immediately. With the bison camped out in the Bees zone, they left space at the back and Scott Spearing found himself and Bakrlik against one Bison defender. Spearing squared the puck to the big Czech forward who smashed home Bracknell's first goal of the night. Just seconds after the restart The Bees attacked the Bison net and levelled the score through Jared Lane who, after a shot/pass from Josh Tetlow on the blueline was tipped and dragged around Skinns and tapped into the gaping net by the young Bees forward.

The second period was a little scrappy with something of a kerfuffle over by the benches at one stage. A few big saves by both goalies and a couple of powerplays each but nothing much else. There was some great moves between Shaun Thompson and Josh Martin where the latter brought out a huge save by Skinns, flashing the leather to deny the scrappy Bees forward. The Bees determination paid off when some dogged work by Bakrlik, Martin and Matt Foord created an opportunity for Bakrlik, who didn't need a second invitation to smash the puck top corner against the helpless Skinns. Unfortunately for the Bees they wouldn't go into the final intermission with the lead, as just 30 seconds from the buzzer, former Bee Josh Smith found the back of the net after a small scramble around the Bracknell goal, tying the game up at 3-3.

The Bison had the better start of the final period hitting the post and causing the defence all kinds of problems. But it wasn't all one way traffic as the Bees also had their fair share of chances. The best coming near the 54 minute mark while the Bees were on a power-play. Some slick passing around the face-off circles between Best and Thompson created an opening for Thompson to blast the puck past Skinns with Tetlow creating the perfect screen in front of him making the score 4-3. The Bees couldn't hold on to the lead for much more than a minute as Josh Smith got his second of the night taking the game to overtime.

Three on three overtime is always an exciting affair and these 5 minutes didn't disappoint. Both sides looked to win it in OT and both teams had some great chances, good passing and quick shots but the goaltenders were equal to everything that was thrown at them.

So penalties were to decide this one. An almost fitting end to a very close game where either team could have won it in both regulation and overtime, but nail biting non the less! Up stepped Callum Best to take the Bees first penalty shot, however it was comfortably saved by Skinns. Karpov for the Bison managed to beat Mettam, but not the post. Next up was Shaun Thompson who buried his penalty and gave the advantage to the Bees. Josh Smith tried to out manoeuvre Mettam but in a final move, forgot to take the puck with him. Frankie Bakrlik stepped up next but tried to go 5-hole but Skinns kept his legs shut tight. It was down to Roman Malinik to rescue the Bison who beat Mettam to take it to sudden death. As per new rules this season, the order was switched and the Bison with Smith went again, this time scoring against Mettam, trickling it between the Bees goalies legs. Jan Bendik was next for Bracknell, smashing the puck bar down on Skinns. Karpov went again, saved by Mettam, then Thompson who missed going high over the bar. Smith again came to take another and again had the beating of Mettam. It was up to Bendik to keep the game alive, however hos effort was saved by Skinns and the Bison took the 2 points. 

A great advert for the sport and our league with two teams playing to the limit, just a shame that the Bees couldn't get that extra bit of luck to get the win.

Match stats
Period scores: 2-2; 1-1; 1-1; 0-1
Bees Scorers: Bakrlik 2+0; Lane & Thompson 1+0; Foord & Spearing 0+2; Best, Bendik & Tetlow 0+1
Bison scorers: Smith 2+0; Scott & Sutton 1+0; Reynolds, Antonov & Malinik 0+1
Bees PIMS: 18 (Bakrlik 6; Ingoldsby & Martin 4; Spearing & Galazzi 2)
Bison PIMS: 12 (Dewey 4; Wilson, Scott, Baird & Sutton 2)
Shots on Bees ( Mettam): 47 (14, 10, 18, 5)
Shots on Bison (Skinns): 26 (5, 10, 10, 1)