2nd of April 2017
Bison qualify for Coventry on top of Group BThe group stage of the play-offs concluded for the Sherfied School Basingstoke Bison with a road trip to Swindon. With the Lightning taking on the Pirates on home ice Bison had to win to have a chance of retaining the top spot.
Swindon Wildcats 3 Basingstoke Bison 7
Tomas Karpov took 6.46 to open the scoring and after the Wildcats had killed the game’s first penalty Aaron Connolly doubled the Bison lead at 14.24. Maxim Birbraer did pull one back for the home team at 18.48 to end the first period 1-2.
Two quick goals bolstered the Bison lead just after midway through the game. Vanya Antonov finished from Rene Jarolin and Joe Miller at 30.52 and Derek Roehl made it 1-4 at 33.32.
Ciaran Long scored the fifth of the night for the Bison at 49.03 and Joe Miller netted his third of the weekend for 1-6 at 53.29. At the next stop, with 6.616 to play, Michael Crisp replaced Stevie Lyle in the net for the home team and when Tomas Malasinski pulled on back for Swindon at 54.08 Dan Weller-Evans replaced Tomas Hiadlovsky. Tomas Karpov bagged his second of the night at 57.09 but with just 4 seconds left in the game Adam Finlinson scored the game’s last goal making the final score 3-7.
The winning margin was sufficient to secure top spot in the play-off group despite Milton Keynes beating Hull in the other group game.
Swindon: Birbraer, Finlinson, Malasinski 1+0; Rutkis, Richardson, Hoog, Nethersell 0+1. Net: Lyle (53.44) 45/6 & Crisp (6.16) 3/1
Basingstoke: Miller, Connolly 1+2; Jarolin 0+3; Karpov 2+0; Antonov, Roehl 1+1; Long 1+0; Scott, Baird, Balmer, Davies 0+1. Net: Hiadlovsky (54.08) 22/2 & Weller-Evans (5.52) 3/1
Period Scores: 1-2/0-2/2-3
Shots On Goal: 25-48
Penalty Minutes: 8-4
Referee: D Cloutman. Linesmen: J Earl & J Ions
Speaking after the group stages Bison Director of Hockey Doug Sheppard said; “We've done the job that's been set to us so far and topped our group to qualify for Coventry. I'm really pleased with our performances this week, we've won all three of our games this week and momentum is building at the right time of the season. We've also iced our full line up this weekend and everyone goes into next weekend having had a good run out this weekend.
“Despite already qualifying on Saturday I was pleased with the performance the guys put in on Sunday to secure the win and do so in style. I wanted us to hit Coventry with maximum momentum and have all our guys on form and we've done that. Now we'll take one game at a time next weekend.”
He continued by adding; “I'd like to thank all our fantastic supporters for turning out every week at home and those who've travelled the country with us. I know a great number of you will be with us in Coventry so I hope to see you there and that we can carry on our good form and momentum and do you proud.”
Read the match report from the final home game of the season below.
The Planet Ice derby was the last home game for the Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison as they needed just a single point to qualify for the Coventry finals weekend.
The Bison lined up at full strength with the Lightning resting Frankie Bakrlik. Stephen Matthews was the referee, Ali MacPhee and James Ions were the linesmen and after an impeccably observed minutes’ silence for a member of the Bison family who passed away in the week the players lined up for the opening face-off.
Basingstoke Bison 3 Milton Keynes Lightning 2
Basingstoke got off to a positive start, testing Przemyslaw Odrobny early with Tomas Karpov getting off the initial shot and the team sniffing for the rebound. Soon after Ciaran Long provided the shot and the rebound sat tantalisingly again but nobody could get a handle on it to poke it home. Lightning cleared the puck back to Kurt Reynolds, Ciaran Long’s tip saw Odrobny pull off a blocker save. Dan Davies’ shot was met with a kick save before Tomas Hiadlovsky was tested by a Lightning break but he saved and held on.
The high speed period continued with Jordan Cownie and Blaz Emersic both denied by Tomas Hiadlovsky. The easiest save of the game so far came when Declan Balmer floated a shot on net looking for a tip but with no connection made it was easily dealt with by the Lightning goaltender.
Lightning fans were briefly on their feet celebrating when Antii Holli shot and buldged the netting but his shot had hit the outside of the twine and that quicky dawned on them. Milan Baranyk headed up the middle and shot but a glove save ended his effort as neither team could stamp dominance on the opening exchanges.
Lewis Christie attempted to stand up Ciaran Long behind the net but ended up just getting run over as the Bison man easily outmuscled the Lightning man. Powerplay time came at 8.03 when Lewis Hook was called for holding and the home team would get the first man advantage.
Tomas Karpov shot and Odrobny saved but the rebound fell just out of the reach of Vanya Antonov. A glove save from a blue line shot came as the powerplay ended and Lewis Hook returned.
Off the next face off Derek Roehl strung two quick shots together but neither crossed the line. Action then swung round to the other end where Milan Baranyk and Blaz Emersic were pressuring Tomas Hiadlovsky but he held firm and covered up.
Lightning struggled hard to contain Tomas Karpov as he raced away, the defence did manage to force him away from the net but he still sped round behind the net for the wrap around. Play stopped as the net came lose behind the MK netminder during the save.
Aaron Connolly forced the next save but despite it not being a clean save nobody got to the rebound in time. Mikolaj Lopuski shot but a blocker save batted the puck away to safety. Joe Miller then found Tomas Karpov who raced down the ice again with Joe Rand going in tandem. Karpov’s backhand pass across the ice was broken up by Odrobny and the net came lose again.
Leigh Jamieson got a puck to the net at the other end but nobody could connect for the tip. The visitors did open the scoring at 17.07 as Blaz Emersic wristed one past the goaltender. Hiadlovsky reacted with fury but despite his protests to the referee the goal stood.
James Griffin was the recipient of a huge hip check from Derek Roehl and the first period ended with Odrobny saving a shot from Kurt Reynolds meaning the visitors remained ahead by their late goal.
There was an early powerplay for the visitors in the second period as Joe Baird took a boarding penalty at 22.22. Odrobny nearly conceded shorthanded to Ciaran Long but a fortunate bounce while he was out to play the puck saw it evade the advancing Long. Joe Baird returned and Adam Carr soon after sent wide a chance from the slot. Tom Carlon brought about a blocker save from Tomas Hiadlovsky.
Bison levelled soon after when a good run from Vanya Antonov saw him lay off for Joe Miller who fired in as Odrobny dived across and equalised the score at 25.57.
Joe Miller went on to put the Bison ahead under 2 minutes later when he had the puck behind the goal and slid it into the crease from the side of the goal. Miller skated level with the goal line and put the puck into the crease with Odrobny inadvertently knocking the puck into his own net as it bounced off his far leg and across the line at 27.45.
James Griffin tried his luck against the Bison net but Hiadlovsky easily dealt with his attempt. Soon after the home team were looking for a penalty call when Derek Roehl was taken out from behind as he skated behind the visitors net but no call was forthcoming.
Just after half way the game winning goal came when Joe Rand got into the slot and received the puck from Joe Baird and lofted it high over Odrobny’s shoulder into the roof of the net for 3-1 at 31.38.
16 seconds after the restart Joe Miller was called for hooking and despite some good early powerplay chances the Lightning couldn’t pull back. Dan Davies took a nasty hit from James Griffin as he broke shorthanded which saw Griffin penalised and the game continue 4 on 4. A careless play by Milton Keynes saw them abandon the puck on their own blue line so Joe Rand pinched in and shot but Odrobny made the save.
A short Bison powerplay saw little happen and when Griffin returned the game continued 5 on 5. With 2.21 left to play in the period Kurt Reynolds took an elbows call giving Milton Keynes another powerplay. Antii Holli tried to blast in but Derek Roehl blocked the shot. Despite having the man advantage Milton Keynes then iced the puck and when the officials blew down the play Holli expressed his anger at them which saw referee Matthews step in to calm him down.
James Neil tried his luck after waiting patiently but Tomas Hiadlovsky saved his chance and Kurt Reynolds returned so the second period ended 3-1 in favour of the home team with them just needing to hold on for the win and secure their Coventry spot.
Both teams refused to give an inch as the final period of senior hockey in Basingstoke started. Aaron Connolly had an ouch moment early on when he blocked a shot then Declan Balmer turned the puck over behind his own net but got it back quick enough. A couple of quick chances came for the Lightning as they twice tried to get the puck in via the back door. The first time the waiting man couldn’t find the puck as Hiadlovsky already had it trapped under his glove, the second time Milan Baranyk couldn’t handle the Blaz Emersic pass.
Ciaran Long took the puck behind his own net and made it coast to coast but despite beating everyone else couldn’t get past the netminder. Antii Holli broke back the other way and shot as he entered the zone but Hiadlovsky saved. Ciaran Long then forced the turnover and sent an outlet feed to Derek Roehl but the feed was slightly off and Roehl didn’t connect.
Joe Rand came chasing the puck in as it was sent on the MK but Odrobny covered and then there were a few words exchanged between the Bison forward and Michael Farn. Rene Jarolin sent the puck in on net but the whistle blew before Joe Miller could get in looking for the apparently lost puck.
Dan Scott and Mikolaj Lopuski came together at 52.42 but it ended with just Scott penalised as he sat two minutes for cross checking. Off the face-off Lightning controlled the puck and cycled it round until it fell to Antii Holli who scored to make it 3-2.
With the goal celebrations tailing off Derek Roehl ended up with a roughing minor, although if he was guilty of anything his guilt was equal to that of the Lightning player, but this meant a brand new powerplay started for the Lightninig.
There was a brief delay to the game while debris was cleared off the ice when the puck hit the disco light. Nothing further happened in the penalty and Derek Roehl retuned with 5.18 to play.
Joe Miller fed Rene Jarolin who rung the iron work and the tension continued as the final two minutes started. Dan Scott shot from the point but it went wide and with time ticking Odrobny edged from his net but never received the call to leave the ice. Milton Keynes couldn’t control the puck so Odrobny had to stay on the ice and Bison secured their position at Coventry as well as claiming top spot in the table with one game left to play.
Basingstoke: Miller 2+0; Baird 0+2; Rand 1+0; Antonov, Jarolin, Reynolds 0+1. Net: Hiadlovsky (60.00) 20/2
Milton Keynes: Emersic, Holli 1+0; Neil, Baranyk, Christie, Cownie 0+1. Net: Odrobny (60.00) 24/3
Period Scores: 0-1/3-0/0-1
Shots on Goal: 24-20
Penalty Minutes: 10-4
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: A MacPhee & J Ions