3rd of December 2018
GAME REPORT: Milton Keynes Thunder v's Bison Sunday 2nd DecemberFinal Score: MK Thunder 4 Trane Basingstoke Bison 3 (After Pen Shots)
Lino’s: Edwards & Ormond
MoM Thunder: Barnes-Garner
MoM Bison: Bordowski
Thunder Stats: Barnes-Garner 2+0, Grinell-Parke 1+0, Norris 0+1, Prince 0+1, Whyte 0+1.
Nets: Lawday 50/3 (94.00%)
Bison Stats: Norcliffe 1+0, Sampford 1+0, Tait 1+0, Smith 0+2, Bordowski 0+1, Ingoldsby 0+1, Klejna 0+1.
Nets: Weller-Evans 20/3 (85.00%)
PIMs: Thunder 8 Bison 6
After Saturday night’s great result, the Bison travelled to Milton Keynes, to face the Thunder. Could they get the "W" & complete another 4pt weekend?
Dan Weller-Evans was back between the pipes, making his first start, since his return from injury.
He was tested early on when had made saves from Prince & then Jamie Line. MK came out really hard & fast having being beaten comprehensively the previous evening. Tommy Ralph came close for the Bison when his shot from the point was saved by Lawday, but Sampford almost followed up by trying to bang the puck in off the back of Lawday’s pads, but the puck went across the crease and to safety. Bison piled on some pressure trying to get on the board early and Lawday was on fine form, as he robbed Cowley at close range, with a great glove save. The Bison just kept coming and were pretty much camped in the MK zone. Shots from Jones, King & Tait, all went close but Lawday stood firm.
Then against the run of play, Thunder took the lead. Rubes skating down the right wing, took full advantage of an untimely slip by a Bison d-man that created enough space to pass the puck over to an on-rushing Barnes-Garner, who slotted the puck past Dan. Goal timed at 8.50.
From the face-off though, Bison went back on the attack and just 19secs later were level, when Alex Sampford finished a good move involving Bordowski & Sam Smith.
Bison went on the PP at 11.05, when Ross Green was given a Cross-Check penalty. But as hard as they tried, MK stifled the Bison's advances & returned to full strength. A few moments later and Chris Cooke made a great break-up play with Thunder coming in 2-on-1.
At 13.44, Thunder import Tomas Rubes was called for Roughing. Again, Lawday & the Thunder killed off the penalty. Soon after the Bison pressure paid off and it was Bison Coach Ashley Tait, finishing clinically right under the bar, timed at 17.26. Assists going to Klejna & Smith again. Great to see Sam progressing week in, week out.
But MK weren't going down without a fight and at 18.08, levelled the score with a lovely finish from Rio Grinell-Parke, assisted by Whyte & Rubes. The final minute came & went and at the first break we were all square at 2 apiece.
The 2nd Period was only a couple of minutes old when there was a scary moment. Grinell-Parke took the full force of an Adam Jones slap-shot right on his knee - and it took him clean off his feet. He was down for a quite a while whilst receiving care from medics, but thankfully he got back up and made it to the bench with a little help from a team-mate. He would return on a later shift. At 22.24, Josh Kelly was called for Interference, but Bison would successfully see it off. Dan then made a couple of good saves to deny Green on both occasions, the shots coming in from the point.
At 32.30, Richard Bordowski was also given an Interference penalty. MK moved the puck around well and Rubes saw his goalbound shot brilliantly glove-saved by Weller-Evans. Thunder weren't done on this powerplay and at 33.43, Barnes-Garner slotted home past Dan, after a great pass from Norris. Rubes picking up another assist.
MK were certainly deserving of their lead at this stage and at the end of the 2nd period, they lead 3-2.
Going into the 3rd period, I must admit I was a little concerned about how things were going. But there was still 20mins to play and a lot can happen within that time. Good early pressure from Bison caused Thunder to call a 30sec Time Out, just to try and break Bison's momentum. It didn't work!!
At 45.39, George Norcliffe levelled the score with an absolute screamer. Very much like Ash's goal, George fired the puck right under the bar, up where Grandma keeps the good stuff. OK, enough of that talk! LOL.
At 49.46, Thunder's Nidal Phillips was awarded a Tripping call and Bison went in search of the goal ahead goal. But as much as they tried, Lawday was becoming somewhat of a thorn in our side, turning away shot after shot. MK returned to full strength and at 53.00, it would be their turn to try to gain the lead again when Ashley Tait was given a lame Hi-Sticks call.
On the resulting PP, Thunder thought they had taken the lead when the puck ended up behind Dan, but he was adamant the puck had been kicked in. Ref Mr Pickett awarded the goal, but then took advice from his colleague and he confirmed that it had been scored by the use of a skate and Pickett washed the goal out, much to the relief of Bison players & travelling fans alike. We returned to full strength soon after.
With just under 4 mins to go, each nettie made great saves to keep scores still level at 3 each. Into the last 2 minutes and Paul Petts almost won it for Bison, he managed to get off a great shot, but Lawday made another timely save to deny him. The buzzer went at the end of the 3rd and we were going to 5 min sudden death overtime.
The two sides came out ready for OT. Tait, Klejna & Jones for Bison and Green, Grinnell-Parke & LeBlanc for Thunder.
Like previous extra periods when 3-on-3, both teams are quite tentative early on just trying to suss out their opposition and make as much space as they can to create a good scoring chance. Bison's second string came out, Cowley, Bordowski & King. These guys had a couple of chances to win it but again Lawday was proving a tough nut to crack. The overtime period ended still all square, so it would be the dreaded penalty shots to decide where the extra point was going tonight.
1st Round - Up first for MK...... Tomas Rubes. He skated in, deked and fired past Dan to score. (1-0). First for Bison was Klejna. He skated in, trying to get Lawday to make a move, he fired, but it clanged off the post! (Still 1-0).
2nd Round - Up for MK..... Jamie Line. He skated down, picked his spot and fired, but Dan got down well and made a good pad save. Next up for Bison..... Richard Bordowski..... He came down at speed, ripped a shot away, but Lawday made the stop. (Still 1-0 MK)
3rd Round - For MK..... Sean Norris. He went out wide and came in from an angle, got the shot off but Dan saved again. So, it was up to Bison Captain Russ Cowley, he must score to keep the shoot-out going. He skated down casually, again trying to make Lawday make the first move, for a second he lost control of the puck and that was enough time for Lawday to launch a poke-check and deny the Bison the win.
It wasn't the result we had expected, but full credit to MK, they deserved to get something out of the game and mainly thanks to Jordan Lawday, who kept them in it, time after time.
Disappointed it wasn't all 4 points. But 3 pts is still 3pts and we're starting to catch the teams above us, so it's not all doom & gloom.