28th of December 2017
Weekend Roundup - Split festive fortunesThe Festive Season Started on home ice for the Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison as they played a National Ice Hockey League game against their nearest rivals the Bracknell Bees.
Basingstoke Bison 6 Bracknell Bees 4
Bison iced without Reynolds, Evans and Brooks for their final match up before Christmas in a game which Stephen Matthews took charge of with Ali McPhee and Flynn Sytch-Cunningham on the lines.
Bees sprung first but quickly Bison got to test the Bees goaltender as Roman Malinik laid on a neat drop pass for Captain Aaron Connolly. It wasn’t long though before the Herd opened their scoring as Tomas Karpov found his way to net in time to one time home a pass from Josh Smith at 3.18.
At 5.55 Tomas Karpov was called for tripping but other than chances for Frankie Bakrlik and Matt Foord the powerplay was killed off with little alarm.
Bison got their first chance on the powerplay at 9.36 with James Galazzi sitting out a tripping penalty but failed to get the systems going. It was within 2 minutes of the powerplay ending when the Herd doubled their advantage thanks to Aaron Connolly roofing the puck at 13.08.
Matt Foord tested the officials as he got away with a holding call on Hallam Wilson his luck ran out soon after as he was seen hooking Roman Malinik which resulted in a sit down at 14.22.
Tomas Karpov was at the centre of play for the Bison, providing a blue line shot on the powerplay which Vanya Antonov tipped before speeding up and leading a rush for the Bison laying the puck to the net but Josh Smith and Vanya Antonov both failed to get a piece and Alex Mettam covered up.
The first period ended 2-0 as the Herd looked comfortably worth their lead.
Bees got a powerplay early in the second when Aaron Connolly lost his footing chasing in a puck that Bees goaltender Alex Mettam ws also chasing out and ended up with a tripping penalty. With the man advantage Frankie Bakrlik completed the text book powerplay firing in at 25.03.
Chances went either way ahead of Bees equalising at 28.39 when Josh Ealey Newman scored from the slot for 2-2.
Having held a comfortable 2-0 lead at the end of the first period Bison fell behind after just 10.08 of the middle period when Bakrlik netted his second.
A text book powerplay response to Tom Avery sitting out tripping saw the Herd pull level at 32.43 as the puck found it’s way around to Joe Baird who sent it in and Josh Smith got the tip.
Doug Sheppard called the Bison time out at 35.20 and calmed the Herd who went on to retake the lead at 37.13 with another powerplay goal. Roman Malinik was the provider for the Captain who sprinted to the middle and scored 5 hole for 4-3.
As they had at the end of the first the Bison were holders of the lead at the end of the second but the advantage was halved heading into the final period.
With 12.48 to play the game wasn’t done yet when Carl Thompson batted a loose puck down and into the net for 4-4 but two unanswered Stampede strikes in the final 10 minutes sealed the win.
Dan Scott blasted home from the hash marks at 51.21 on the powerplay and Vanya Antonov sealed the win with 3 minutes to play when he got a second attempt to finish from Tomas Karpov and did so.
Basingstoke: Karpov 1+2; Connolly 2+0; Scott, Smith 1+1; Antonov 1+1; Dewey, Malinik 0+2; Baird,
Davies 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.00) 17/4
Bracknell: Bakrlik 2+1; C Thompson 1+1; Foord, Avery 0+2; Ealey-Newman 1+0; Norcliffe, Spearing 0+1. Net: Mettam (60.00) 29/6
Period Scores: 2-0/2-3/2-1
Shots On Goal: 29-17
Penalty Minutes: 18-12
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: A McPhee & F Sytch-Cunningham
With Christmas confirmed as league leaders it was on to the National Cup competition for the Bison on Boxing Day as they travelled to Swindon with just an outside chance of qualification
Swindon Wildcats 6 Basingstoke Bison 4
Aaron Nell dominated the scoring for the home team with the opening strike coming on a powerplay at 9.10 and he would complete the perfect first period for them with 40 seconds left by doubling up his and his team’s tally.
Bison Captain Aaron Connolly got one back at 24.24 ahead of Joseph Hazeldine making it 3-1 at 26.30. Sam Bullas quickly changed that to 4-1 at 28.57 before Bison fought back with Ryan Sutton scoring at 30.21 and Vanya Antonov netting a powerplay marker at 33.52 to end the second period 4-3.
Dan Davies equalised at 46.20 but Floyd Taylor scored the game winner at 47.50. With Dean Skinns out the net and the Bison on a powerplay it was a bitter blow when Aaron Nell finished his hatrick with a shorthanded goal in to the open net at 59.28 to finish the game 6-4.
Swindon: Nell 3+0; Birbraer 0+3; Bullas 1+1; Hill 0+2; Taylor, Hazeldine 1+0; Power, Godfrey, Kostal 0+1. Net: Marr (60.00) 39/4
Basingstoke: Antonov 1+0; Connolly, Sutton, Davies 1+0; Dewey, Wilson, Malinik, Smith 0+1. Net: Skinns (59.22) 25/5 & Empty Net (0.38) 1/1
Period Scores: 2-0/2-3/2-1
Shots On Goal: 26-39
Penalty Minutes: 20-4
Referee: B Evans. Linesmen: J Lalonde & C Edwards
The National Cup Campaign then moved back to home ice for the Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison as they played a midweek home game in front of a packed arena.
Basingstoke Bison 3 Swindon Wildcats 4 (after penalty shots)
Bison iced without Kurt Reynolds who did warm up but didn’t play and also Tomas Karpov who was a late scratch to the line up.
Blaine Evans was again the referee with Amy Lack and Andy Cook lining the game.
Bison started Dean Skinns while Swindon gave the start to their backup Matthew Smital. Early chances came at both ends but it was the visitors who would get on the board first at 11.23 when Aaron Nell found Max Bibraer and he shot high into the net over Skinns’ glove.
Bison were on level terms at 13.22 when Dan Davies took Matt Smital out of position ahead of getting the puck to Josh Smith who scored into the virtually open net. Parity didn’t last long as 1.16 later Floyd Taylor got one under the arm of Dean Skinns to make it 1-2.
As the first ended Swindon could be happy with their position a goal ahead.
Both teams enjoyed a fairly evenly matched start to the second period but by the half way turn around neither team had found the back of the net to add further to the scoring. Both teams had their chances but the final bounces and touches just didn’t fall for fluent scoring.
There was 1.41 left in the second period when the referee raised his arm for the first penalty as Stevie Whitfield hauled down Dan Davies earning himself a tripping penalty.
Swindon had their biggest chance of the game to pull ahead when the puck took a weird bounce off the boards out to Aaron Nell who wasted the opportunity firing over the net with Dean Skinns wrong footed.
Bison were pushing hard to level up and would get their chance with a man advantage when Ben Nethersall was called for slashing at 52.27 during some frantic play clearing the crease. Neil Liddiard gave the Bison a period of 1.03 of 2 man advantage when he also got a slashing penalty at 53.24. At the same time as the Liddiard penalty Doug Sheppard called his troops back for the Bison time-out.
A huge finish from Dan Scott levelled the game at 2-2 with 4.50 to play as the Bison powerplay cycled the puck round before passing back to Scott waiting at the hash mark to let loose with booming shot.
With 2.46 left Bison took the lead for the first time in the game as Vanya Antonov drew attention he slotted to Josh Smith who slotted in via the open back door and Aaron Nell took the opportunity to take a time out.
With penalties called at 58.07 for Jordan Kelsall holding the stick and Hallam Wilson for hooking regulation time would play out 4 on 4. A stroke of huge luck allowed Swindon to force overtime as with 11 seconds to go a deflection off Roman Malinik saw the puck drop virtually on to the stick of Aaron Nell who one timed in on the stick side of Dean Skinns.
Swindon came close to breaking the dead lock in OT as Aaron Nell hit the post but with no scoring in the extra 5 minutes the game headed to penalty shots.
Edgars Bebris shot first for Swindon and scored five hole. Josh Smith, for the Bison, attempted to repeat the move but found the edge of the pad. Aaron Nell skated direct to the net before roofing the puck meaning that the final two Bison shooters had to score to force the game on. Vanya Antonov calmly scored through the five hole to keep the shoot out alive but Jan Kostal could win it if he scored. He advanced in and Dean Skinns went down to make the save and trapped the puck. The referee hovered and waited for Skinns to move before awarding the goal and ending the game.
Basingstoke: Smith 2+0; Davies 0+2; Scott 1+0; Antonov 0+1; Malinik 0+1. Net: Skinns (65.00) 24/3
Swindon: Nell, Birbraer 1+1; Taylor, GWP 1+0; Bebris, Johnson, Hill, Nethersell 0+1. Net: Smital (65.00) 37/3
Period Scores: 1-2/0-0/2-1/0-0/0-1
Shots On Goal: 37-24
Penalty Minutes: 2-8
Referee: B Evans. Linesmen: A Lack & A Cook
After the busy period Head Coach Doug Sheppard commented; “I was pleased with how we dealt with Bracknell before Christmas. We got a good lead and they came back hard at us. It was how we responded to going behind that impressed me.”
He continued talking about the National Cup series against Swindon; “We knew we had a tiny mathematical chance at qualification and it was a must win game on Boxing Day. In truth I think we played better than the scoreline suggested. We were short on guys but we fought back hard to level at 4-4 but I think we were better than the 6-4 scoreline indicated.
On home ice we played a lot better and credit has to go to our fans who created such a brilliant atmosphere for us to play in. We knew in terms of progression in the competition that it was now a nothing game with the tiny chance of qualification having gone the night before but it was a vital game for me to try new combinations of players in different situations. We’ve played Swindon a lot now and I think we put in a good performance missing one of our defensive core and an import as well.”