The NIHL National Owners group met again last week and are collectively very pleased with the progress being made towards the return to competitive action in September. A number of key topics were reviewed and we’d like to give you a short update.

Competing Teams
All ten teams have confirmed their intent to participate in the league in 2021/22. As you...
26th of November 2019

GAME REPORT: Bison V's Bracknell Bees Saturday 23 November 2019

Final Score: Basingstoke Bison 3-5 Bracknell Bees

Saturday 23rd November

Bison MOM: Michal Klejna
Bees MOM: Roman Malinik

Bison stats: Klejna 0+3, Tait 2+1, Morris 1+0

Netminder: Weller-Evans 6/3 (50.00%) Mettam 28/2 (92.86%)

Bees stats: B.Baird 0+2, Gabaj 1+1, Malinik 1+1, Mogg 0+2, J.Baird 0+1, Galazzi 1+0, Martin 1+0, Z.Milton 1+0, H.Stead 0+1, W.Stead 0+1

Netminder: Goss 29/3 (89.66%)

PIM's: Bison 86 – Bees 90
SOG: Bison 29 – Bees 34

Following on from a rare weekend without a home game, the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison played host to the Bracknell Bees for the second time this season and were aiming to extend their winning run to six games. Tom Ralph returned from injury for the Herd but forwards Richard Bordowski and George Norcliffe were absent, whilst import forward Dominik Gabaj made his debut for the opposition.

The home side had already beaten their local rivals three times so far in the 2019-2020 season and were looking to make that four, but the Bees had other ideas as debutant Gabaj (W.Stead, J.Baird) made an immediate impact with a neat wrap-around finish to put the Berkshire side 0-1 ahead at 7:40. Disaster would soon strike again as Josh Martin (Malinik, B.Baird) scored a powerplay goal at 11:26 to extend the Bees’ lead to two goals. Before the home side could muster a response the score quickly became 0-3 when James Galazzi (H.Stead) deflected a shot through Weller-Evans at 12:57.

The Bison immediately called a timeout to try and steady the ship, as well as putting Alex Mettam in net to replace Weller-Evans. After a clumsy hit on Ollie Stone down in the corner, Hallam Wilson dropped the gloves with Harvey Stead in the hope of inspiring the home side towards a comeback. Dominik Gabaj received a penalty for High-Sticks late in the first period and as the game entered the second period, the home side finally opened their account for the night at 21:05 with Ashley Tait (Klejna) slamming the puck home at the back door for a powerplay goal. The elation of the home fans was sadly short lived as Zack Milton (Gabaj, Mogg) put the visitors 1-4 ahead with a goal timed at 22:35.

Despite not playing at their best, the home side were full of fight and at 24:45 the Bison reduced the deficit again on a delayed penalty call, thanks to the same combination which provided their first goal as Ashley Tait (Klejna) snapped the puck home from the back door once more. To the delight of the home fans it would be the Bison who scored next with their second powerplay goal of the night. As trouble-maker James Galazzi took a Holding penalty for the away side, speedy forward Liam Morris (Klejna, Tait) made the scoreline 3-4 at 33:53 using his quick hand speed to receive a pass in close and wrist the puck past Goss whilst positioned just in front of the crease.

As the final period began it was clear that the next goal was crucial, therefore it was heartbreak for the Bison fans when ex-Bison import Roman Malinik (Mogg, B.Baird) converted on the powerplay at 49:04 to put the Bees 3-5 ahead, with Ashley Tait serving a High Sticks penalty. The Bison pushed forward in search of another epic comeback with Adam Harding being thwarted by netminder Goss on a breakaway, Marek Malinsky hitting the crossbar with a laser and Mettam being pulled temporarily for the extra forward skater but it was without reward as the clock wound down and the Bees celebrated their first win over the Bison this season.

Unfortunate scenes then marred the end of the game as Bees forward James Galazzi felt compelled to attempt another shot on goal fractionally after the final buzzer. A needless action made worse given that Alex Mettam was still in the Bison net and with Adam Jones taking exception to Galazzi’s poor tactics, both benches cleared and chaos ensued. As the dust eventually settled and the away side left the ice, Adam Jones, Liam Morris and Sam Smith all received varying penalties for the Herd, with Zack Milton and Harvey Stead also taking penalties for the Bees in the melee alongside Galazzi.

The two sides must wait until January 18th before facing each other again in what should prove to be a tasty affair, but more immediately the Bison turn their attention to an away game in Hull this Sunday, with Nigel Simmonds hoping to bring you slightly more positive news with his report.