11th of November 2018
GAME REPORT: Bison V's Swindon Wildcats Saturday 10th NovemberFinal Score: Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison 3 Swindon Wildcats 2 (APS)
By Nigel Simmonds
Lino’s: Ormond & Sitch-Cunningham
MOM Bison: Klejna
MOM Wildcats: Marr
Bison Stats: Bordowski 1+1, Cowley 1+0, Jones 0+1, Sampford 0+1.
Nets: Mettam 29/2 (93.10%)
Wildcats Stats: Nell 1+1, Bullas 1+0,
Birbraer 0+2, Johnson 0+1.
Nets: Marr 26/2 (92.31%)
Aaron Nell & his Swindon Wildcats were in town Saturday night, to face your Trane Basingstoke Bison. Swindon are highly fancied to win the NIHL S1 League this year, so it was always going to be a tough test for Ash & the guys. This would also be a good indication of how far the team have come along this season.
Firstly though, a Poppy Wreath was laid at centre ice by Bison Captain Russ Cowley, to commemorate Armistice Day, which is 100 Years, since the end of the 1st World War.
The playing of the Last Post & a minutes silence, as a mark of respect for the fallen, were impeccably observed.
Well Done to everyone involved!!
OK, onto the game.............
As expected, it was an exhilarating start to this game. Both goalies making their first saves safely.
Then Elliott Dewey turned over the puck in his own zone and Loris Taylor skated in, but thankfully fired wide. Nell was next to test Mettam with a shot, but the puck hit Alex's shoulder and went to safety. Bebris then saw his shot well saved by Mettam, between the pipes. Swindon's Chris Godfrey then copied Dewey, by turning over the puck in his own zone, Sampford stole the puck, but snatched the shot and he also fired wide.
Scott Plews took the first penalty of the game, with a Tripping call at 5.01. He was quickly followed in the box by Aaron Nell, again another Tripping call, timed at 5.29. This gave Bison 1.33 of the 2-man advantage and they were all over Wildcats with immense pressure, not allowing them to clear their zone.
Bison fans jumped up thinking we had scored, when a shot by Bordowski looked goal bound, but went just inches wide. But it only delayed the inevitable. A point shot from Adam Jones hit a Swindon d-man, it fell to Sampford who fired his shot, Marr saved, but Bordowski was quickest to react and roof the puck into the net. There were only 5 secs remaining on the first penalty, so Bison still had a man advantage for a few seconds more, but Wildcats would kill that time off and return to full strength. Powerplay goal timed at 6.57.
Bison's #13 Elliott Dewey took a Hooking call at 13.13!! That doesn't happen very often.
Bison PK stood firm, then Wildcats hit penalty trouble of their own. Maxim Birbraer got a Slashing call (14.06) and like before, he was quickly followed into the box by Sam Jones (14.30), who had hooked Klejna whilst he was through on goal. Bison killed off Dewey's penalty, which then gave them just under a minute of the 2-man advantage, but Bison couldn't make capitalise this time and Wildcats returned to 4 skaters, then full strength not long after.
The final minute came and went & it was 1-0 Bison at first break.
Bison started the 2nd period in the best possible way. Bordowski causing trouble in the Swindon zone, took the puck towards the net, got a pass off, Marr appeared to cover the puck, but obviously missed it, as Cowley backhanded the puck into the net. Goal timed at 20.56.
Mettam was called upon soon after, when he made a great double save, firstly from Bebris and then Sam Jones. Bison's young D-man Sam Smith was called for High-Sticks at 26.23.
Swindon halved the scoreline with a PPG, when Nell finished top shelf (27.47), after a nice move involving Johnson & Birbraer, although it looked offside.
Alex Sampford took a Slashing call at 28.32 but Bison killed the penalty. Sam Bullas took a Hooking call (34.41) when Klejna again, had found himself through on goal.
With 6 secs to go on this penalty, Aaron Nell was awarded a Delay of Game penalty, when he deliberately pushed the goal off its moorings, as Bison were scrambling around the Wildcats net. Bison just couldn't extend their lead with the extra man. Swindon returned to full strength and they saw off the rest of the period.
So, it was Bison 2 Wildcats 1 end of 2nd.
The puck dropped for the start of the 3rd period of this really entertaining game. Bison definitely holding their own against Swindon and for sure deserving their slender lead, could they hold on.
Bison's MoM Michal Klejna, having possibly his best game to date, drew another penalty at 42.32, when Loris Taylor took a Holding call, whilst jostling with the Slovak against the boards. Bison unfortunately couldn't get anything going on that PP, so Wildcats return to full strength. A few minutes later, Bison's newest signing Josh Kelly was given a penalty for High-Sticks at 47.01.
Swindon upped their pressure on this man advantage and on a couple of occasions should've scored, but for dogged defence and a couple of lucky breaks, which for once went our way. Bebris shoots, Mettam saves bit puck pops loose, Klejna steps in and clears the puck to safety. But this doesn't stop Swindon one bit, they really sense they can capitalise on one of these chances. A great set up leaves Nell free in the slot, he picks his spot, releases, but you hear a huge "clang" off the post, as it looked easier to score in my opinion. Bison return to full strength again.
Into the last 10mins and its end to end, a thoroughly enjoyable game. Swindon go close again, when Nell sets up Bullas but he fires wide, but a few minutes later that same pairing and Birbraer would make all Swindon’s pressure count. Bullas rifles home a slapper from a nice pass from Birbraer. Nell also got an assist, goal timed at 54.37.
It was going to be an edge of the seat final 5 mins. One mistake by either side could ruin all the hard work by both teams. Danny Ingoldsby passes to George Norcliffe, who skates in and gets a shot off, Marr makes a toe save and the puck pops out to his left, Danny who had continued his way forward, tries to get to the loose puck but is muscled out of the way and Swindon come out again. Nell rings another one off the post, with Mettam well beaten this time.
Then a brave move by Russ Cowley, who picks up a pass, gets past their defenceman and goes in on net, he is pushed and collides with Marr, whose helmet come off in the process and Matthews blows the play dead.
Russ taps the pad of Marr as they both get to their feet, as an indication of no intent was meant. This doesn't appear to be the reaction behind the Wildcats bench.
Play starts up again, but Birbraer isn't happy and he aggressively starts mouthing off towards our bench, he obviously gets a response which he doesn't like, as he starts to encroach the Bison bench. Dan (Weller-Evans) back from injury steps in his way and gently pushes Birbraer back, but the Swindon player makes a complete spectacle of himself, by massively overacting and falls backwards. What a complete embarrassment!!
Matthews stops play, gets informed by the lino what happened and goes over to talk to Dan & Birbraer, no calls coming.
We're now into the final 2 mins and it's still really tense.
Wildcats ice the puck with just over 40 secs to go, but win the face-off and get the puck clear. Bison came again and almost clinch it, as there's another scramble in front of net but again no Bison stick can get on the puck. The buzzer sounds and for the second week running, we're going to Overtime!
Cowley, Bordowski & Jones start OT for Bison, with Nell, Birbraer & Whitfield coming out for Wildcats.
As last week, Bison start the OT period tentatively, just trying to set up the perfect play, which will take the extra point. Adam Jones finds Klejna, who cuts inside, but is Tripped by Sam Jones, so Bison go 4-on-3. Penalty timed at 61.15.
Klejna almost wins it as he picks up the puck, creates a chance to cut back inside, to Marrs left and tries to stuff the puck past the nettie, but he stays firm and the whistle blows.
The line of Bordowski, Cowley and Tait come out and just as Wildcats penalty is about to end, Bison have one more try with extra man. Bordowski collects the puck from Tait and tries to do exactly what Klejna did a few seconds before, he goes past the d-man, cuts back on a really tight angle and tries to get his shot off, but again he's nudged into the goalie and collides with him.
Whistle blows, but this time Matthews deems that Bordowski intentionally collided with him and awards him a Netminder Interference penalty at 63.14.
Ashley Tait is not impressed by the call and let's Matthews know, to which he receives a Misconduct, but Ash isn't finished and has another word, to which Matthews taps his hips again and it's an early shower for the Bison Coach with a Game Penalty for Abuse of Official.
It's going to be a very nervy final minute of OT. Swindon call a Time Out and try to set about organising the play that will gain the extra point. Bison dig in stoutly and with a few seconds to go, call their own Time Out. Time runs down and it's all down to a Shoot-Out.
Swindon go first and it's Jan Kostal who skates in, dekes and shoots but Mettam saves with his left pad.
First up for Bison is Klejna, he skates in, moves slightly to left and fires low stick side of Marr, the net ripples and the Bison fans go wild.
Chris Jones steps up next for Swindon, skates in but fluffs his shot at release and puck slides away.
Russ Cowley's up next for Bison, he skates in, makes a move and fires, but sadly it just goes high and bangs against the plexi behind the goal.
So, it's all up to Aaron Nell, as he has to score to keep things alive. He skates in from the right-hand side, fires and for the third time, it clangs off the post, Bison players, jump the bench to go to greet Mettam, but Matthews appears to have signalled a goal. Nobody on Bison's side appears to have noticed this and continue to celebrate. Matthews then consulates his lino and washes the 'goal' out (that never was a goal) and Bison Win !!
What an absolute cracking game & great result for the Bison.