26th of February 2018
Weekend Review - Shutout and goals galore for four pointsAnother Saturday night saw the Basingstoke Arena packed once again as the league leading Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison took on the Swindon Wildcats in a league clash with two vital league points and momentum for Friday’s opening leg of the Cup Final to play for.
Basingstoke Bison 4 Swindon Wildcats 0
Dan Scott, who had taken the warm up, didn’t play the game joining Oscar Evans, Sam Brookes and Cameron Buckle as scratches for the Herd. Stephen Matthews took the opening face-off and straight away the teams set about a high intensity battle.
Aaron Connolly drew the first save of the game as Renny Marr flashed the glove on the game’s first shot then Aaron Nell tested Dean Skinns with a low shot that the Bison shot stopper dealt with comfortably and covered for a face-off.
Neither team could break free in the opening exchanges and despite chances at both ends neither managed to assert any dominance on the play. Swindon Wildcats got the game’s first powerplay when Elliot Dewey was called for high sticking at 9.07.
Swindon gained and controlled the zone but some good defensive work from the Bison saw out the Wildcats’ advantage. The closest chance came from Oliver Jones who found a loose puck and shot but the shot was seen all the way by Dean Skinns.
Stevie Whitfield broke free of the Bison and raced to the zone sending in his first shot and chasing hard for a rebound but the save deflected the puck out of play. From the face-off Tomas Karpov raced to the far end but his shot was deflected away by Neil Liddiard ahead of Grant Rounding drawing a save on the next play.
With Bison wondering how Dan Davies had been taken out with no call attentions soon turned to penalty killing as Tomas Karpov fell foul of a holding penalty at 16.47. Wildcats pressure hard with the man advantage and then got a 53 second 5 on 3 when Stuart Mogg took a tripping penalty at 17.55.
Bison weathered the remainder of the Karpov penalty and Mogg returned too with no damage done 5 seconds shy of the end of period buzzer.
The start to the second period lacked none of the intensity of the first period and as Dan Davies was impeded in his shot Neil Liddiard gave the Bison their first powerplay with a holding penalty at 22.55.
With the face-off in the Wilcats zone it took just 5 seconds to convert the man advantage to the game winning goal. Dan Davies won the draw, back to Joe Baird who found the Captain and Aaron Connolly brought the huge Bison support to their feet to celebrate the game’s first goal.
After weathering a good move from Dan Davies and Aaron Connolly, broken up by Sam Godfrey’s defence, the Wildcats found their deficit doubled at 26.23 when Neil Liddiard turned the puck over at the blue line, Ryan Sutton raced away 1 on 1 with Renny Marr and despite the Wildcats goaltender getting a piece of the puck it flew into the net for 2-0.
Tomas Karpov tried a wrap around but having beaten Renny Marr he was denied by Sam Godfrey hooking the puck back to safety. Things didn’t get much better for the visitors however just after half way when Floyd Taylor was called for a hook on Vanya Antonov at 30.03.
Following converting their first powerplay 5 seconds in Bison converted their second 11 seconds in when good passing around the zone saw the puck fall nicely to Dan Davies at the back door and he tapped home for 3-0 at 30.14. With the Bison fans on their feet again Renny Marr had to make the long solo skate back to the Wildcats bench, called off in favour of Matthew Smital for the remainder of the game.
Swindon soon got a chance to haul themselves back into the game when Tomas Karpov got called for interference at 32.27 but a clinical penalty kill saw Karpov return to the ice with no change in the score.
Wildcats got another powerplay at 38.32 after a poke check save from Dean Skinns Joe Baird got called for slashing. Roman Malinik fed Aaron Connolly short handed but he couldn’t get much on the shot then Malinik went on a solo shorthanded run that drew not only a big save from Smittal but also a hooking penalty on Aaron Nell at 39.36 which levelled the game at 4 on 4 for the end of the second period.
Bison returned for the third period leading by three goals and with an opening spell of 4 on 4 ahead of a 1.05 powerplay. Joe Baird returned and Aaron Nell then returned 65 seconds later.
The third period didn’t have quite the spark at the start as the other two. Joseph Hazeldine fired in a shot but the deflection on the way in took all the pace off the shot allowing Dean Skinns to make the save. Ryan Sutton fed Hallam Wilson who started away but took a tumble.
Tomas Karpov caused the visitors trouble as Smital made a save eventually after having lost the puck then on the next play he came round behind the net and fed Vanya Antonov and Smital got the pad down to make the save.
With the visitors still desperately searching for the goal to break the shut out Michael Power fed Aaron Nell who shot at speed but shot wide then with 6.49 to play Floyd Taylor took a tripping penalty putting Bison back on the powerplay.
44 seconds into the powerplay the Herd bagged their third powerplay goal of the night. After some great puck movement Roman Malinik selflessly slid the puck across to Grant Rounding waiting by the far post and he tapped home for 4-0.
With 3.48 to play there was drama when a massive melee in front of the net saw the net come lose and as the whistle blew Jan Kostal shot in and his shot struck Dean Skinns in the back in an unprotected area. Some pushing and shoving occurred and some cross words were exchanged but the ensuing call saw just Vanya Antonov called for delay of the game giving the Wildcats a late powerplay.
After a coming together between Phil Hill and Kurt Reynolds both got called for roughing minors which were coincidental meaning play continued 5 on 4. Bison saw out the final moments of the game with the crowd standing and cheering to take the shut-out win.
Basingstoke: Sutton, Davies 1+1; Rounding, Connolly 1+0; Malinik, Baird, Antonov, Karpov 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.00) 26/0
Swindon: Net: Marr (30.14) 8/3 & Smital (29.46) 14/1
Period Scores: 0-0/3-0/1-0
Shots On Goal: 22-26
Penalty Minutes: 14-10
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: A Strain & F Sytch-Cunningham
Following a comprehensive home win the Sherfield School Basingstoke Bison travelled the M3 for the local derby match up at the home of the Bracknell Bees.
Bracknell Bees 4 Basingstoke Bison 8
Danny Milton started the game in net for the home team while Dean Skinns took his usual position for the Bison. It was Skinns who’d be beaten first as Bracknell’s Josh Martin opened the scoring with a powerplay goal before Dan Davies levelled 62 seconds later with the game back at even strength. Kurt Reynolds chipped in with the go ahead goal at 18.16 ensuring the first period would end with the advantage to the Bison.
It took just 32 seconds of the second period for Dan Davies to net his second for 1-3 and Aaron Connolly converted a powerplay at 25.17 for 1-4. A goal from Luke Jackson pulled the margin back for the home team but a second powerplay strike from Aaron Connolly at 31.13 restored the margin at 3 goals and saw Bees replace Milton with Alex Mettam for the remainder of the game. Matt Foord restored the home team’s hope at 34.50 but Bison Captain Aaron Connolly completed his hat-trick with an even strength goal at 36.20 meaning the second period would end 3-6 but not before Frankie Bakrlik had received a match penalty for check to the head at 39.51.
Joshua Martin bagged his second with a powerplay goal at 48.37 but by then Bison momentum was unstoppable and Tomas Karpov scored at 50.07 followed by Stuart Mogg with 10 seconds left for a final score of 4-8.
Bracknell: S Thompson 0+3; Foord, Bakrlik 1+1; C Thompson 0+2; Jackson, Martin, Barker 0+1. Net: Milton (31.13) 20/5 & Mettam (27.51) 10/3 & Empty Net (0.56) 0/0
Basingstoke: Connolly 3+2; Davies 2+3; Karpov 1+2; Malinik 0+3; Antonov 0+2; Mogg, Reynolds 1+0. Net: Skinns (60.00) 28/4
Period Scores: 1-2/2-4/1-2
Shots On Goal: 28-30
Penalty Minutes: 79-6
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: A Cook & F Sytch-Cunningham
Following the weekend Bison Head Coach Doug Sheppard shared his thoughts; “It was another 4 point weekend for us and I thought we played very solid game on Saturday, spurred on by a great atmosphere in the rink and then on Sunday we went to Bracknell and got the two points. Sunday wasn't the prettiest game but we came away with the points but sadly also with an injury to Grant Rounding.”
“I thought it was a great 4 point weekend, Saturday was one of our best games and Bracknell is never an easy place to go and get a win but we came away with the points and sets us up for a great league game on Sunday at Peterborough and of course Friday we have the Cup Final so a lot of good things to look forward to.”