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Match report: Bracknell Bees 5 - 3 Swindon Wildcats

posted 12 Feb 2018, 22:26 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

In a busy Hive, a decent crowd got to see another good match up between these local rivals. Buoyed by their performance the previous night against the Peterborough Phantoms, the Bees looked to continue their form and stabilize their position in the league.

Alex Mettam took position in goal for the Bees, while Renny Marr was the number one choice for Swindon. The Bees went into the game without Callum Best and the Wildcats were Missing Captain Jan Kostal

Swindon had the better of the early possession and pressure and called Mettam into action on several occasions. But Bracknell, through the returning Frankie Bakrlik, brought a big save out of Marr. It was one of just 3 saves Marr had to make in a period that saw little goalmouth action for either side. Despite that, it was Bracknell who struck first through Shaun Thompson after he, Alex Barker and Jan Bendik combined for a beautifully worked, one touch pass, tic-tac-toe goal. With more shots on, goal Swindon looked dangerous on the attack, but rarely troubled Mettam with not a lot going anywhere other than into his body.

The Bees ramped up the pressure in the second period and it wasn't long before Josh Martin was bursting through the Cats defence, stick handling well and bringing out a save from Marr. There were several hairy moments for Bracknell with pucks squirming around the net and through the crease. Edgars Bebris missing a couple of golden opportunities but Mettam was on hand to deny him with wonderful agility. Bebris did manage to help tie game on the half hour mark, setting up Phil Hill with a beauty of a deflection from a pass in front of goal. Bebris missed another chance moments later with a wrap around attempt, but couldn't squeeze it to anywhere other than Mettam's pad. Swindon were clearly motivated by their goal and sent wave after wave to Mettam's goal, but the Bees goalie stood firm and made save after save. After soaking up all this pressure, Carl Thompson sent a long puck forward to Bakrlik who beat his covering defenceman and shot hard and low beating Marr to make it 2-1. Danny Ingoldsby and Ben Ealy-Newman worked well together moments later and brought a good save out of Marr.

Into the final period and the Bees turned up the heat on the Wildcats. Bakrlik having a good wrap around effort of his own stuffed by Marr. Swindon got the equaliser just minutes into the period on a delayed penalty after a burst of pace by Luc Johnson left him clear to take on Bendik and he beat Mettam, making it 2-2 against the early run of play. Swindon thought they had a third moments later, but the goal was disallowed due to being redirected in from a high stick. Shaun Thompson had a chance to restore the Bees lead with a breakaway chance, but was forced wide by Marr. The Bees did get the lead back through Alex Barker with an absolute rocket of a shot, all alone in between the face off circles beating Marr to his left. The lead was doubled just 3 minutes later through captain Matt Foord, entering the Cats zone unchallenged. With Bakrlik to his left and covered by the defencemen, Foord took the shot himself and beat Marr low down. With the clock running down Swindon pulled Marr to give themselves an extra skater. Into the last minute and the gamble paid off with a deflected shot from Max Birbraer bringing the game back to within one goal. A Jan Bendik effort on the empty goal went close, but with just seconds left on the clock, James Galazzi got to a loose puck first and was able to stride down the ice unchallenged to tap the puck home, restoring the Bees 2 goal lead and ensuring a Bracknell victory.

5-3 it finished in a great weekend for the Bees. Its what the team needed after a long period of poor performances and bad results. Hopefully this helps propel them on for the run in before the playoffs start and before another trick weekend against the Phantoms and Bison next week.

Match stats
Period Scores: 1-0; 1-1; 3-2
Bees scorers: S.Thompson & Barker 1+1; Galazzi, Foord & Bakrlik 1+0; Bendik 0+3; C.Thompson 0+1
Wildcats scorers: Hill 1+1; Johnson & Birbraer 1+0; Taylor 0+3; Nell & Bebris 0+1
Bees PIMS: 8 (Galazzi 4, Spearing & Bakrlik 2)
Wildcats PIMS: 6 (Johnson, Godfrey & Hazeldine 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 32 (11, 14, 7)
Shots on Wildcats (Marr & Empty Net): 19 (3, 9, 7) & 1 (0, 0, 1)