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Match report: Swindon Wildcats 5-4 Bracknell Bees (After Overtime)

posted 9 Jan 2018, 00:12 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

It was the Bees second visit to the Link centre in Swindon in a week as they looked to avenge the last defeat in their last game, having given up a 3-1 lead only to lose 5-3 in the NIHL cup. Starting in goal for the Bees was Alex Mettam, while Renny Marr took up position for the Wildcats. Referee was Stephen Mathews, with linesmen Charlie West and Nathan Carmichael. 

Things didn't start off well for the visitors as Swindon captain Aaron Nell burst through the defence and put the puck top shelf giving Swindon a 1-0 lead after just 2 minutes. With the Bees looking second best it was Swindon who took control of the game with a Luc Johnson penalty shot after being judged to have been fouled in a clear goal scoring opportunity. Swindon continued their dominance as the period went on and Bracknell struggled to stay out of the box. But with dominant Wildcat pressure, the Bees defence held firm and finished the period lucky to be only 2 goals down.

The second period was different story all together as Bracknell were quick out of the blocks and looked to put pressure on the Swindon net immediately. within a matter of minutes the Bees had hit the post twice, from Carl Thompson and Frankie Bakrlik, but the outside of the post and neither seriously troubling the Wildcats net-minder. Bracknell had finally found their mojo and half way through the period, popular forward James Galazzi cut inside the defence and unleashed a shot too powerful for Marr to stop as it squeezed in under his arm. Clearly bouyed by the goal, the Bees applied more pressure on the Wildcats with great fore-checking and testing Marr at any opportunity. 

Into the third and with the Bees on the penalty kill, Nottingham Panthers prospect Jordan Kelsall proved his value by beating Mettam just inside the post, giving the home team a 3-1 lead. Mettam kept the Bees in the game on several occasions with big saves from Max Birbraer and Aaron Nell, while at the other end Marr kept a big shot out from Bakrlik. Following a couple of quick penalties, Bracknell found themselves on a 5 on 3 powerplay which was not wasted as Callum Best beat Marr bringing the score back to with-in 1. With the Bees still on the powerplay, yet again they pressed forward looking for the equalizer. It took just a minute and a half for Bakrlik, fed by Best and Spearing to get the goal, also after being fouled meaning Bracknell were still on the powerplay! To conclude an amazing period of hockey, Bracknell got their third goal in three minutes as Bakrlik steamed into the Wildcats zone, passed across the crease and found Danny Ingoldsby who tipped it in at the back post. With the Bees having turned around a 3-1 deficit to a 4-3 lead it looked almost like they would get that important win. It wasn't to be however, as after Nell was fouled in front of goal the Wildcats punished the visitors with a powerplay goal of their own, taking the game to over-time.

Into O.T and both sides had several small chances at goal, but unfortunately for the travelling Bees it was Swindon who managed to get the overtime winner through Edgars Bebris.   So, a point was all the Bees came away with, but its still a point and its a start at getting the confidence back and the belief of getting back to winning ways.

Match stats
Period Scores: 2-0; 0-1; 2-3; 1-0
Wildcats scorers: Kelsall 2+0; Nell 1+2; Bebris 1+1; Johnson 1+0; Kostal 0+2; Birbraer & Hill 0+1
Bees scorers: Best & Bakrlik 1+2; Galazzi & Ingoldsby 1+0; Avery 0+2; Spearing & Martin 0+1
Wildcats PIMS: 16 (Godfrey 4; Bullas, Bebris, Kelsall, Birbraer, Kostal & Bench 2)
Bees PIMS: 18 (Jackson 6; Bendik 4; Best, Foord, Spearing & Martin 2)
Shots on Wildcats (Marr): 28 (5, 13, 8, 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 37 (10, 13, 11, 3)