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Pre-season Match Report: Swindon Wildcats 4 - 2 Bracknell Bees

posted 5 Sep 2017, 12:06 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willitt

Anticipation was high and the atmosphere tense as the Bees took on the Swindon Wildcats in the 1st of the weekends 'friendlies' at the Link centre in Swindon.

New Bees net-minder Danny Milton was given the start while Swindon's new signing Renny Marr got the nod between the Wildcats pipes.

The start of the game saw both sides play around with lines in this pre-season leg stretcher, but it was the Bracknell goalie who saw more of the action pulling off several big saves including a couple straight off the top of his mask. With Swindon having the better of the play Ben Nethersall took a slashing penalty. The Bees didn't waste their first play with the man advantage as after some great work by Frankie Bakrlik, a pass to Josh Tetlow who then found Captain Matt Foord with space to fire home the opening goal of the night.

Unfortunately it took less than 3 minutes for the Wildcats to even the score as a shot from Max Birbraer was deflected past the helpless Milton by former MK lightning forward Luc Johnson.

Swindon made it 2-1 less than a minute later after a breakaway chance was buried by Kyle Smith. There was almost insult to injury as a shot blasted high off the end boards bounced back right in front of goal. The puck found its way in the net off the body of Phil Hill, however it was deemed that he made a distinct movement to knock the puck in and it was immediately disallowed.

The Wildcats made it 3-1 at the halfway stage of a scrappy second period through Ben Nethersall after hemming the bees defence in their own zone for several minutes.

Bracknell managed to claw one back after an absolute ripper of a shot by fan favourite Frankie Bakrlik found the top corner of the net. After a quick discussion with the goal judge the goal stood and Bracknell pushed to level the score.

However it was Swindon who increased their lead yet again as, on the power play with Jan Bendik in the box, Jordan Kelsall scored a tight angled shot that beat Danny Milton up high.

Heading into the third period both teams increased the intensity as some big hits were thrown. Both sides had some great scoring chances with Sam Bullas hitting the post for Swindon and Shaun Thompson seeing his effort saved by Marr in the Wildcats net.

As the seconds wound down, Bracknell pulled goalie Milton while already on a powerplay to set up a 6 on 4 attack. It was unfortunately fruitless as Swindon's defence held firm and the game finished with some mismatched fisticuffs between 6"6' Josh Tetlow and 5"7' Sam Zajak.

Match stats
Period scores:  2-1, 2-1, 0-0
Wildcats scorers
: Kelsall 1+1; Johnson, Nethersell & Smith 1+0; Zajac 0+2; Bullas, Birbraer, Kostal & Rutkis 0+1
Bees scorers:
Foord & Bakrlik 1+1; Tetlow & Osman 0+1
Wildcats PIMS: 20 (Kostal & Zajac 4; Bullas, Birbraer, Hill, Liddiard, Nethersell & Smith 2)
Bees PIMS: 32 (Martin 16; Barker 6; Tetlow 4; Jackson, Bendik & Spearing 2)
Shots on Wildcats (Marr): 18 (4, 7, 7)
Shots on Bees (Milton): 28 (9, 13, 6)
MOM Awards :  Wildcats: Luc Johnson & Bees: Harvey Stead