1st of October 2018
GAME REPORT: Bison v's Raiders Saturday 29th September 2018UPCOMING HOME GAMES: Tickets are NOW on sale for our home games versus Telford Tigers on 6th October and Peterborough Phantoms on 13th October Tickets can be purchased TODAY online here , by calling 01256 355266 or direct from the Arena box office.
Final Score: Bison 5 Raiders 2
by Nigel Simmonds.
MoM: Sampford for Bison & Connolly for Raiders.
Bison Stats: Sampford 2+0, Tait 1+2, Cowley 1+1, Morris 1+0, Klejna 0+2, Ingoldsby 0+1, Jones 0+1, King 0+1, Smith 0+1.
Nets: Mettam 23/2 (91.30%)
Raiders Stats: Connolly 1+1, Sylvester 1+0, Scott 0+2, Chong 0+1.
Nets: Gray 42/5 (88.10%)
PIMS: Bison 43 Raiders 22
Your Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison took a break from Autumn Cup action this weekend, as they started the defence of their League campaign. When the fixtures were announced, most, if not all, Bison fans, checked for only TWO fixtures......the first game against Bees and obviously, when London were visiting the 'Stoke, because of the awaited return of Messrs Connolly & Scott.
Raiders were first up tonight and it was so fitting, that it coincided with the banners being raised, to acknowledge last season's superb team (which Aaron & Dan, we're a major part of) & their remarkable season.........A magnificent treble!!
Unfortunately, the banner raise didn't actually go to plan tonight. That was a little awkward, but it was soon rectified, for all to see!
Linos: Finch & Strain
An early shot from Liam Chong was dealt with by Mettam, as Raiders came out firing. At 4.45 Tommy Ralph was assessed a Late Hit penalty, but it was successfully killed by the Bison PK units. A 2-on-1 almost broke the deadlock, with Tait & Klejna bringing a good save from Gray, in the Raiders net.
Bison stepped up their intensity and peppered the Raiders net. But at 12.27, Novak & Cowley were sent to sinbin, both for Hooking. Gray was again called upon, coming up with big saves from Norcliffe and then Bordowski to stay goalless. Just seconds after the penalties had expired, Bison took the lead. Ashley Tait found on-rushing Russ Cowley and his shot flew past Gray to make it 1-0 Bison. Michal Klejna, also with an assist. Goal timed at 14.35. Almost 3 mins later and Bison's lead was doubled. Liam Morris, returning from suspension, with a beauty of a goal. He skated in from the left wing, beat a couple of Raiders defence and despatched a low, hard backhand shot under Gray's glovehand. With 2.45 remaining in the period, Bison import Michal Klejna received a nasty slash, but typically, that went unpenalised. Into the final minute of the period, Cowley & Novak were penalised again. Hooking for Cowley & Holding the Stick call for Novak. Timed at 19.42. The seconds ticked down and Bison went into the first break, with a healthy 2 goal lead.
The second period started still 4-on-4 for 1.43. These pens were both killed off. At 24.57, an unintentional High-Stick, caught Dan Scott and unfortunately, because it drew blood, it was an early bath for George Norcliffe. It is classed as a Match penalty, but because Dan came back out a couple of shifts later, it was correctly downgraded, to just a Game Penalty. So, Bison had a 5min penalty to defend and defend they did for the first 3 mins of it, Cowley managing to scramble away the puck off the goal line. Raiders finally got onto the scoreboard at 28.15, from a familiar face. Aaron Connolly with a trademark goal, cutting in from the right wing, he despatched his wrist shot top right-hand corner past Mettam. I didn't have enough time to write down the goal details and it was all level. Dean Sylvester with a ripper of a shot, that beat Mettam over his blocker/stick side. Just 18 seconds had passed between the two quick fire goals. Bison players & fans were a little stunned. Thankfully we managed to kill off the remainder of the penalty. Raiders Brandon Ayliffe, was given a Slashing penalty at 31.21.
It only took 8 seconds for Bison to make the man advantage pay, although it looked slightly controversial. Alex Sampford backhanding a rebound on goal, which even I thought hadn't gone in. Raiders goalie inspecting the net and he found a couple of, bigger than normal, holes in it. To be honest, these holes should've been found before the game even started. The linos always check the netting before the game starts, for such things. Anyways, Raiders disputed the goal, but it finally given, although Gray and his teammates weren't at all happy. Tait & Ingoldsby picking up assists on Sampfordís goal. At 33.35, Novak was again heading towards the sinbin. This time an Interference call. During the PP, Dan Scott felt the full force of a Tommy Ralph slap-shot, hitting him in the calf. Ouchy!! Penalty was successfully killed though.
Morris had a great shot saved by Gray and then Tommy Ralph was saved by Alex Mettam, as he turned over the puck in our zone. Chong skated in, but thankfully Alex turned away the shot. Liam Morris was unlucky not to score, when sent clear by Ashley Tait, the Scot tried to out-deke Gray, but just went a little wide and his shot was just off target. Mettam came up with another superb save in the dying seconds of the period. Liam Chong beat a couple of Bison and was through with only Mettam to beat, but Alex got the blocker on it and it went to safety. So, 3-2 Bison with only 20 mins to play.
Hallam Wilson was the first to take a penalty in an incident filled 3rd period, with a Kneeing call at 42.10.
Bison saw off the penalty, but Klejna almost scored shorthanded. A good pass from Ralph found the Czech forward and he skated in and was just about to unleash his shot when the ice slowed up the puck and he didn't get as great contact as he'd hoped for. Brandon Ayliffe took another penalty at 44.56, when he got involved with Mettam, in the corner of all places! Netminder Interference was the call. Bison almost score on resulting PP, when Tait's shot, hit Connolly's skate and almost trickled past Gray, but it just went wide of the post. Raiders killed the penalty.
Then a big talking point....46.04 on the clock, a lovely shot from Jay King on the point, puck hits Gray loops over his head, Bordowski swipes at puck in the air, doesn't appear to touch it, puck lands behind Gray and slides into the net. Ref Blaine Evans stood 6 foot away, signal adamantly it's a goal, waving off any Raiders complaints of a high stick touch. Skates to the box, gives details of the goal to the announcerís box. Before she's announces any info, one of the Lino's goes over to Evans and consults with him. Within seconds, he reverses his decision and no goal is announced because of high stick. Sorry, but Evans was in the best position, gave the goal and then got his mind changed by an official, that in my opinion, was in far worse position to see the incident.
Liam Morris was next in to the penalty box, at 47.01 he was given a Charging call. Penalty was killed but then it was Tommy Ralph & Liam Chong that were awarded penalties. Ralph getting a Holding call and Chong a High Stick one. No blood drawn this time, so just a minor call.
It was getting a little bit chippy by now and it boiled over at 51.08. Adam Jones & Callum Wells niggling at each other, which resulted in a nasty slash by Wells across the back of Jones legs. Adam was having none of it and motioned to Wells to drop the gloves, which they did. Wells got in one decent punch but then Jones went for a big left, but unfortunately missed and lost his balance and it was over, before it had started. Each were given 2+2 Co-Incidental Fighting pens, which don't go on the clock.
Then Raiders Julian Smith was given an Interference call at 52.30. From the resulting face-off, Bison's Liam Morris fell foul to a face-off violation call. The bodies were stacking up in the box. Thankfully, Bison managed to score soon after. Russ Cowley finding Ashley Tait and he shot hard and low. Gray got a bit of the shot, but it trickled through and crept over the line. Goal timed at 53.16. Just as Raiders had done earlier, it was Bison's turn to score a couple of quick goals. Just 34 secs later and Bison's man of the match Alex Sampford killed off Raiders evening, assisted by Klejna & King.
The Bison fans were ecstatic!
This made Raiders call a Time Out but it was too little, too late. At 56.57, Novak was again penalised with a Hooking call. Bison couldn't add to their tally. Now entering the final 2mins of the game, Bison had the points seen up, but there was still time for a minor penalty to Raiders. JJ Pitchley taking a dumb Late Hit call, timed at 59.56.
The final 4 secs wound down and the buzzer sounded. Bison had got off to a great start of their league title defence with a strong 5-2 victory.
Overall a really good performance from the guys and it bodes well for future weeks.