17th of December 2017
Weekend Review - OT win puts Bison on topThe Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison had a single game weekend with their only opponents being Milton Keynes Thunder on home ice.
The Herd were missing injured Joe Baird and Josh Smith who was away on GB Under 20s duty. Dean Skinns got the start in net for the Bison while Tom Annetts took the duties for the Thunder.
Basingstoke Bison 1 Milton Keynes Thunder 0
Referee Blaine Evans was in charge of the game with Justin Lalonde and Andrew Strain on the lines and just after 6.30 the arena lit and the game got underway.
Early chances fell for the Bison as Kurt Reynolds first tested Tom Annetts with Aaron Connolly just edging the rebound wide. Roman Malinik forced a turnover and fed Grant Rounding for a one timer but Annetts made another save.
Thunder broke and tested Dean Skinns who made a pad save and was then collided with and taken out but quickly regained his feet. No call was made on that play but soon after the first penalty was called as Dan Scott took 2+10 for checking from behind in defence of his Captain who’d been the victim of an unneeded hit head first straight into the boards.
With a few shorthanded chances generated by the Bison they did more than enough to kill the penalty and then would get a powerplay of their own when Greg Randall hooked back Vanya Antonov at 8.13
The only chances of note on this penalty were Tom Carlon shorthanded for the Thunder but Roman Malinik came closer as his shot rung off the metal work.
Back at full strength Vanya Antonov set up Tomas Karpov on the doorstep but play was blown down as the shot took the netminder in the mask. Off the restart Milton Keynes advanced at speed but O’Flaherty’s drive to the net was deflected away by a Bison stick.
Play stopped briefly when Stuart Mogg collided with the back boards chasing back a potential icing call. As he was being chased by Connor Goode he lost his footing and collided awkwardly with the board. After taking a few moments he left the ice under his own steam and returned again shortly after.
Chances followed at both ends as Ross Green tried his best to use traffic to his advantage but Dean Skinns saw it all the way. Shortly after Vanya Antonov sent in a shot which Tom Annetts closed the pads on but still was forced to look behind to make sure he had it.
The first ended with chances for Stuart Mogg and Hallam Wilson both not converted so a scoreless first period concluded.
Paul Petts was undone by a Lewis Christie hip check in the opening minutes of the second period and then Connor Goode tested Dean Skinns but the Bison shotstopper was up to the challenge. Tom Annetts made a second save with his mask, this time from an Aaron Connolly one timer.
Tomas Karpov raced into the zone at speed with Paul Petts and laid off a drop pass but the latter was forced off the puck by the Thunder defence. Shortly after Petts drew the defence to him laying the puck to Tomas Karpov who fed Vanya Antonov but Annetts saved another
Ross Green took a boarding penalty at 27.30 and Bison were back on the powerplay. With the man advantage Ryan Sutton rung the metal work but with both teams playing to their systems well neither could make the breakthrough.
Full strength didn’t last long as Connor Goode was sitting out a tripping minor at 30.29. A loose puck fell to Tom Carlon who sped in and shot but the deflection off Roman Malinik sent it wide.
Bison kept racking up the chances but Thunder kept soaking them up. The second half of the second period was mostly Bison chances with the occasional Thunder break out. Bison’s two import players were close on successive shifts as Roman Malinik and Tomas Karpov both were denied by Annetts. Dean Skinns then made up for a defensive error that let the visitors benefit from a 3 on 1 chance.
Just as the first period had gone by scoreless the second ended with 0-0 still showing on the scoreboard.
Both teams generated chances early in the third period. Roman Malinik saw a shot go by wide before Tomas Karpov found a neutral ice interference call going against him at 42.54. A sharp close in save from Dean Skinns denied Tom Carlon and kept the score 0-0 as the Herd returned to full strength.
Tom Carlon proved to be the ongoing threat for the Thunder ahead of Ryan Handisides looking to go with Stuart Mogg. Roman Malinik and Vanya Antonov combined for the Bison before their defensive line up lost a further body when Kurt Reynolds hobbled from the ice.
Thunder iced the puck with 45 seconds to go in regulation time and took their timeout. As play restarted the face off was to the right of Tom Annetts but a couple of sharp Skinns saves saw the game into overtime.
Overtime didn’t last long as Roman Malinik forced a turnover and got the puck to the front of the net where Dan Davies tapped into to the open target to end the game after 14 extra seconds.
Basingstoke: Davies 1+0; Malinik 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.14) 17/0
Milton Keynes: Net: Annetts (60.14) 36/1
Period Scores: 0-0/0-0/0-0/1-0
Shots On Goal: 36-17
Penalty Minutes: 14-6
Referee: B Evans. Linesmen: J Lalonde & A Strain
The win puts Bison on top of the National Ice Hockey League and with only one game being played on Sunday in the league the Herd will end the weekend on top guaranteed.
After the game Bison Captain Aaron Connolly said; “I think we came out of the blocks pretty quick but as the game went on I think our frustrations got the better of us. We had a few quality chances and rung the post and cross bar few times.”
“It wasn’t our best game by any means but we found a way to do what needed to be done and it certainly wouldn’t of been possible without Deano standing on his head for us once again and keeping us in that game. We have a lot more to give and we know that but good teams always find a way to win even when it’s not their night and that’s exactly what we did.”