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Match report: Bracknell Bees 4 - 8 Basingstoke Bison

posted 26 Feb 2018, 14:05 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

On Sunday, the Bees welcomed local rivals the Basingstoke Bison to the Hive. In the final meeting of the regular season between the two sides, Bracknell have only won once, back in September and in the National league cup.

Starting goalies were Danny Milton for the Bees and Dean Skinns for the Bison. Referee was Stephen Mathews with Flynn Sitch-Cunningham and Andrew Cook on linesman duties.

The first period saw some early Bison pressure with the Bees defence looking organised and held firm. At the other end chances were few and far between but Frankie Bakrlik had the better of the opportunities forcing a glove save from Skinns. Bracknell were looking to impose a physical presence with Danny Ingoldsby and Ben Ealey-Newman throwing checks with reckless abandon. It was the home side who got on the score-sheet first with a deflected shot by Josh Martin after the puck was fired in by Shaun Thompson. The lead didn't last long as just a minute later Dan Davies struck a shot in the top corner past Milton. The Bees were the better side for long periods of the first, peppering the goal with shots. In one such attack it seemed almost certain the Bees would score, had it not been for the excellent dexterity of Skinns. The Bison took the lead with 2 minutes left of the period with a deflected shot off of a Bracknell body with Kurt Reynolds credited with the goal.

The second period started poorly for the Bees as with just 32 seconds on the clock the Bison had the puck in back of the net through Davies again. With what appeared to be goaltender interference on Milton, the goal stood as Matthews waved away the protests of the Bees. Following a couple of penalties on Bracknell the Bison got a powerplay goal with another contentious play. With Milton having covered the puck with his legs, several Bison players continued to whack away and the puck squirmed over the line. Again, Matthews waves away Bracknell protestations and the goal stood. The Bees would find their feet in the tie just minutes later as Luke Jackson, back into regular shifts after several weeks on the sideline, struck a rocket of a shot from the blue-line through a crowd of players and beating Skinns. With the Bison reacting to the Bees aggressive play, Ingoldsby was checked with what appeared to be an elbow, but again, Matthews disregarded the Bracknell players despite the Bracknell player down on the ice. With the referee not appearing to protect the players, Ben Ealey-Newman decided to take matters into his own hands but the Bison player hid from the challenge and Ealey-Newman was sent to the Box. The ensuing powerplay resulted in another goal for the Bison with captain Connolly getting his second of the night and signalling the end of Milton's time between the pipes. With Alex Mettam taking up position in goal the Bees would get one back through their own captain before the half hour mark as Matt Foord took his time with the puck to pick his spot taking it to 5-3. With yet another penalty on the Bees, the Bison scythed their way through the defence with some slick passing and Connolly finished off the fine move completing his hat-trick. The period ended on a sour note as Bakrlik finished a poor hit on Grant Rounding and was thrown from the game with a check to the head penalty.

Into the third and both teams were negating each others attacks. Bracknell tried to make things interesting by bringing the game to 6-4 with yet another tip-in in with Martin getting the final touch after making a nuisance of himself in front of Skinns. Unfortunately there was to be no comeback as a mistake by Harvey Stead led to a turnover right in front of Mettam and a pass from Connolly was finished by Tomas Karpov. In the final 2 minutes the Bees pulled Mettam in an attempt to pull a couple of goals back, but it was to no avail as a penalty on Jan Bendik took the play back to the Bracknell end and a shot that was going well wide, hit a body and deflected past Mettam.

8-4 the final score in yet another match where the Bees discipline let them down, this time not aided by some less than helpful officiating. Bison were well organised and played well enough to win despite the favourable decisions and pull 2 points clear of the Phantoms at the top of the league, while the Bees remain in fourth with the Raiders failing to pick up any points at the weekend.

Match stats
Period Scores: 1-2; 2-4; 1; 2
Bees scorers: Foord & Bakrlik 1+1; Martin & Jackson 1+0; S.Thompson 0+3; C.Thompson 0+2; Barker 0+1
Bison scorers: Connolly 3+2; Davies 2+3; Karpov 1+2; Reynolds & Mogg 1+0; Malinik 0+3; Antonov 0+2
Bees PIMS: 79 (B.Ealey-Newman 34; Bakrlik 25; Martin 12; Spearing 4; Bendik & Best 2)
Bison PIMS: 6 (Reynolds 4; Connolly 2)
Shots on Bees (Milton & Mettam): 20 (11, 9, 0) & 10 (0, 2, 8)
Shots on Bison (Skinns): 28 (10, 8, 10)