30th of December 2018
GAME REPORT: Bison V's Swindon Wildcats Friday 28th DecemberFinal Score: Trane Basingstoke Bison 3 Swindon Wildcats 4
Lino’s: Edwards & S-Cunningham
MoM Bison: Sampford
MoM Wildcats: S Jones
Bison Stats: Sampford 3+0, Bordowski 0+3, Harding 0+2, King 0+1
Nets: Mettam 42/4 (90.48%)
Wildcats Stats: Bullas 1+0, C Jones 1+0, S Jones 1+0, L Taylor 1+0, Bebris 0+1, Birbraer 0+1, Godfrey 0+1, Hoog 0+1, Johnson 0+1, Nell 0+1
Nets: Marr 26/3 (88.46%)
PIMs: Bison 2 Wildcats 6
Just for a change, it was a Friday evening for "Hockey Night in Basingstoke".
The Trane Basingstoke Bison welcomed Swindon Wildcats, for our last Home game of 2018. With current standings, this game could prove quite profitable, for the winners, as it's an early '4pt'er'. Both teams iced their recent signings, former Wildcat Adam Harding for Bison & Jonas Hoog returning (again !!) for Swindon.
Michal Klejna would have the first shot of the game, but Renny Marr would deny him with a pad save.
Swindon would get their first scoring opportunity, when Nell found Hoog in front of net, but Mettam would race out to hurry Hoog and although he got a shot off, Mettam would save well. But in their next attack, Swindon would take the lead. Nell passed to Hoog, whose shot was saved by the glove of Mettam, but it looped up and looked like it might fall into the empty net, but it landed on top of the net and fell over the back, Sam Bullas who had carried on skating, picked up the puck and made his way around into front of net, before releasing an unstoppable shot past Mettam. Goal was timed at 4.54.
Swindon's Max Birbraer would get called for Hooking at 8.59, so Bison went on the powerplay. They would only need 30secs of the extra man to make it count. Jay King finding Richard Bordowski, who in turn found Alex Sampford and he wristed the puck past Marr to tie the scoreline. But the teams wouldn't be level for long. At 12.14, Loris Taylor put the visitors back in front, when he followed up his own shot & buried the rebound past Mettam.
Bison had a good chance to reply, when a turnover in Swindon's zone, the puck fell to Tommy Ralph and he let fly with a rocket, which Marr saved but the puck popped up and before anyone could get a stick in it, Marr gloved the puck at his second attempt. That brought a close to the first period action and the scoreline read, Bison 1 Wildcats 2 at the interval. In Shots on Goal, Swindon outshot the Bison 15 - 8.
The 2nd period is usually one of Bison's worst, so it was so good to see us start the period on the front foot and it wasn't long before they had levelled the scoreline again. New signing Adam Harding getting his first point in a Bison jersey, as he set up Bordowski but his shot was saved, but Sampford picked up the puck and found the speed to drive around the back of the net and scored with a wraparound at the back post, with Marr stretching to get there. Goal timed at 24.14.
A couple of minutes later and the same trio combined to give Bison the lead. Harding found Bordowski behind the net and his pass in front of net found Alex Sampford, who smashed home the puck to complete his hat-trick, timed at 26.29. It was actually looking quite good for the home side, as they continued to frustrate their visitors.
Referee Blaine Evans was making some strange decisions, lots of whistle blowing to stop the play when it didn't really need to and then not calling penalties, when they looked dead certs, but he gave Chris Cooke a Late Hit call at 32.12, which was a really soft call. Thankfully, Bison killed the penalty and returned to full strength.
At the 2nd period interval, the scoreline read, Bison 3 Wildcats 2.
The 3rd period started with both teams having a couple of early opportunities, but neither team could finish their chances. Could the Bison hold on or would Swindon come back?
Well, that was answered at 45.02, when Luc Johnson set up Chris Godrey on the right and he skated in and fired a shot in on net. Alex Mettam made the save but he gave up a juicy rebound and Wildcats Man of Match Sam Jones skated in buried the puck past a prone Mettam.
From the resulting face-off it would get a lot worse for Bison fans and also Alex Mettam. The puck was dumped into the Bison zone, which Mettam and Tommy Ralph both went to get. Alex went to fire the puck out of the zone, but his clearance hit Ralph and the puck fell to Chris Jones, who had the easy task of firing the puck into the empty net. In 25 secs the Bison had gone from leading to find themselves now behind. The Swindon fans were obviously ecstatic, but the home fans were left feeling slightly numb. But there was still time to turn the game around and hopefully get something out of this important game.
At 48.39 Bison got a chance, when Bullas was given a Hold the Stick penalty. Bison took this opportunity to use their 30sec Time Out. Could the Bison PP manage use the extra man to their advantage. It was a little too early to pull Mettam for the extra attacker & as hard as they tried, unfortunately they couldn't find the net.
Time was counting down and the chances for the Bison were running out. But they were thrown a slight lifeline at 59.20, when Sam Jones fired the puck over the glass for a Delay of Game penalty. This time Mettam was pulled and it was going to be all or nothing with 6-on-4. Michal Klejna had the best opportunity, when he tried to fire home from close range, but Marr somehow managed to shut the door, whilst lying flat on the floor.
The final few seconds ran down and Swindon had held on to steal the points and take 3rd spot all for themselves in the table, but Bison do still have 2 games in hand.