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Match report: Bracknell Bees 6 - 2 Milton Keynes Thunder

posted 3 Oct 2017, 00:21 by john slater

Match report by Dan Maker

After a fantastic result the previous night in Basingstoke, the Bees welcomed Milton Keynes Thunder to the Hive for a league match.

Bees were missing Alex Barker for the third game in a row but were boosted by having 2-way players Jack Hayes, Will Stead and Josh Ealey-Newman in their line-up. Milton Keynes travelled missing Mark Woolf, Luke Reynolds and Logan Prince but still brought a big bench of twenty-one players. Danny Milton started in net for the Bees with Tom Annetts starting for the Thunder. Stephen Matthews took charge with Phil O’Neill and Andrew Strain on linesman duties.

The game began at a steady pace with Milton Keynes having the better chances through Tom Carlon and Ross Bowers but the Bees held firm. After a roughing penalty to Luke Jackson and a delay of game penalty to Annetts, the four on four produced a flurry of chances for the Bees with Frankie Bakrlik having four tries on goal including a tipped shot from a Harvey Stead floating wrist shot from the blue line with Annetts and the Thunder defence resisting well. This was followed by a Jan Bendik one timer which hit the bar. Bees made their recent pressure count by taking the lead through Shaun Thompson, on a delayed penalty goal, after some great puck handling from Bakrlik by the goal line with the assists going to Harvey Stead and Tom Avery. The Thunder continued creating chances with many two on ones towards the Bees goal but not being able to finish any of them off. Matt Foord was next to go to the penalty box for hooking and the Bees again kept the Thunder attack at bay with Milton making a solid save off a Lewis Christie slap shot through a screen.

The second period began perfectly for the Bees with Bakrlik skating down the right wing and cutting inside across Annetts before shooting the puck past Annetts to double the Bees advantage. Matt Foord and Milton given the assists. Just like before, Milton Keynes tried to respond with Bowers causing more problems for the Bees defence. Avery headed to the penalty box for hooking and the Thunder again create more chances with Milton making a sprawling save across the crease to deny them a route back into the game. Whilst Matthews had his hand in the air for a delayed penalty on McPherson, Bendik in control of the puck made a pass back to the blue line for one of his team mates which to the shock of everyone travelled all the way down the ice towards the empty Bees net after Milton had skated off for the extra skater. Luckily, the puck went past the goal post and the Bees turned a near 2-1 into a 3-0 score line with Callum Best scoring on the powerplay after some good offensive zone work. The assists credited to Bakrlik and Thompson. The Thunder created their best chance of the match after the puck deflected through the air towards the back post and Carlon firing a wrist shot that Milton superbly saved. Bees continued pressurising the Thunder goal and scored through Bakrlik collecting the puck in the slot before spinning around and firing the puck past Annetts before he had time to react with the assists going to Best and Scott Spearing. Bees made their position even more comfortable by adding a fifth two minutes later through Thompson again assisted by Harvey Stead.

The third period started with MK taking two penalties through McPherson and Bowers and the Bees showed their confidence by cycling the puck well in the zone with Josh Martin nearly opening his account for the season after a nice pass from Jared Lane with Annetts making a good save. The Thunder finally got on the score sheet 6 minutes into the period through Hallden Barnes-Garner after a scramble in front and puck ending up behind Milton and past the goal line. The assists credited to Harrison Goode and Christie. Spearing was next to sit in the penalty box for hooking an opponent with Milton making well positioned saves from the oncoming attacks. The Bees then tried something different, with an airborne pass from Josh Tetlow over the neutral zone into the MK defensive zone which Thompson collected and shot as he spun on the puck with Annetts making a good save. Another powerplay for Milton Keynes gave them another chance to score a second after Best was penalised for hooking. However, Bees were to have the next best chance to score through a Thompson one on one but he fired the puck over the bar. Ex-bee Rio Grinell-Parke burst through the Bees defence and was denied by a well-timed stick check by Milton. Bees were to add a sixth goal on the night with Thompson winning the puck off of Ross Green, skating in towards Annetts and firing a slap shot into the top corner of the goal from the right faceoff circle. With just 39 seconds left on the clock, another ex-bee Rupert Quiney made a back handed pass up the ice, after holding off the challenge of Spearing, towards Carlon who drilled a slap shot past Milton for Milton Keynes’ second of the night.

This was the Bees first four point weekend of the season across the league and cup competitions and will be looking to continue the recent trend going into matches at home to Streatham and away at Cardiff next weekend. Man of the match awards went to Matt Foord for the Bees and Hallden Barnes-Garner for the Thunder.

Match stats 
Period scores: 1-0, 4-0, 1-2 
Bees Scorers: Thompson 3+1; Bakrlik 2+1; Best 1+1; Foord, Avery, Milton & Spearing 0+1  
Thunder scorers: Barnes-Garner & Carlon 1+0; Quiney, Christie & H.Goode 0+1 
Bees PIMS: 10 (Jackson, Best, Foord, Avery & Spearing 2) 
Thunder PIMS: 8 (McPherson 4; Bowers & Annetts 2) 
Shots on Bees (Milton): 29 (8, 9, 12) 
Shots on Thunder (Annetts): 34 (6, 16, 12)