17th of February 2019
GAME REPORT: Swindon Wildcats v's Bison Saturday 16th February 2019Final Score: Swindon Wildcats 4 Trane Basingstoke Bison 2
By Nigel Simmonds
Ref : Matthews
Lino"s : Carmichael & Ormond
MoM Bison : Morris
MoM Wildcats : S Jones
Wildcats Stats : Bebris 1+1, Birbraer 1+0, S Jones 1+0, Nell 1+0, Hoog 0+1, C Jones 0+1, Rutkis 0+1.
Nets : Marr 26/2 (92.31%)
Bison Stats : Harding 1+1, Jones 1+0, Klejna 0+2, Norcliffe 0+1.
Nets : Mettam 29/4 (86.21%)
PiMs : Wildcats 14 Bison 8
The Trane Basingstoke Bison travelled to Wiltshire to face Swindon Wildcats in a first of a League double-header, a top of the table clash. A couple of weeks ago, Bison beat the Wildcats over 2 legs to book a place in the Final of the NIHL South Cup. With only 2pts separating the two teams, these games/results will go a long way to reveal the destination, of where the League title will end up. Although, you still can't count out Peterborough Phantoms just yet!
Anyways, onto tonight's game.......
Mr Matthews dropped the puck on this eagerly awaited game, by both sets of fans and players alike.
Bison Player/Coach Ashley Tait had the first scoring chance when he was set free on the right wing, he skated in and fired in a shot, which Marr saved well. Swindon came close soon after, when their Player/Coach Aaron Nell, rung a shot off the bar. This was followed up by Bison nettie Alex Mettam, making a good save from Jonas Hoog.
Adam Jones would take the first penalty of the game, a Tripping call, timed at 7.49. On the powerplay, Swindon's Sam Bullas forced two good saves from Mettam. Bison returned to full strength soon after and set about trying to open the scoring. Russ Cowley set up Alex Sampford, but his shot was wide.
Swindon took the lead at 11.11, when Hoog played in Chris Jones, who skated in two on one with Nell. Jones waited till the final second to pass across and Nell buried the puck past Mettam.
Maxim Birbraer was awarded an Interference call at 13.46, but Wildcats returned to full strength.
At 16.44, Sam Jones was called for High-Sticks. The Bison PP unit came out again and this time, they made the extra man count. Adam Jones wristed home a lovely shot through a crowd. Goal was timed at 18.34, with assists going to Michal Klejna and former Wildcat, Adam Harding. A minute later and Bison scored again. Norcliffe and Klejna again, set up Adam Harding and he finished in style past Marr. You could tell he enjoyed that one. It even prompted a chorus of "Harding is a Bison", by the travelling faithful Bison fans.
The seconds ran down on the period and at the first break, the scoreline read, Wildcats 1 Bison 2. It was a great finish to a good opening period by both teams.
The 2nd period started with Bison almost extending their lead. George Norcliffe passing to Tait and Ash waited, before he shot the puck, which brought a good glove save out of Marr.
Wildcats Luc Johnson was next to visit the sin bin, when he was assessed a Tripping call at 21.54. From the resulting penalty, Swindon almost scored a shorthanded goal, when Sam Jones forced a pad save from Mettam. Then down the other end, the returning from injury, Bordowski found Tommy Ralph in space and his goal bound shot, came off Marr's shoulder and to safety.
Wildcats returned to full strength and soon after, would tie the game up. Toms Rutkis finding Sam Jones, whose first shot was blocked, but he collected the rebound and fired the puck past Mettam in the Bison net. Goal timed at 24.33.
At 30.33, Wildcats took full advantage to a poor turnover by the Bison. Birbraer picking up a loose puck just inside the Bison zone. He skated in and let rip with a slapshot, which beat Mettam. Goal was assisted by Edgars Bebris.
Worse was to come for the Bison, when they conceded again, even though Swindon were minus a player, as Sam Bullas was given a Delay of Game penalty, for shooting the puck over the glass at 31.57.
Another poor turnover in the neutral zone set free Edgar Bebris and he finished clinically top shelf past Mettam. A shorthanded unassisted goal at 33.48. Wildcats returned to full strength soon after.
Then Bison's Adam Jones was called again, this time a Hooking call at 37.24. Just as we entered the final minute of the period, Bullas was awarded another penalty. This time it was a Hooking call at 39.08.
Bison returned to full strength and had 30secs of Powerplay time to end the period. It was a very un-Bison-like display.
The scoreline at the end of the 2nd period read, Wildcats 4 Bison 2.
Bison started the 3rd period with 1.09 still remaining in Bullas's penalty, but they would kill off the penalty.
It was then Bison to hit penalty trouble, when Bordowski was given a Tripping call, at 42.50, but like Swindon, Bison would kill the penalty off. Wildcats Luc Johnson was called for Slashing at 45.38. Could Bison make the man advantage count this time...... No, would be the answer.
As we entered the last 10 minutes, Bison were finding it difficult to get back in the game. This wasn't helped by Alex Sampford getting a Slashing call at 51.26. Although Bison killed off the penalty, they still couldn’t find a way past Renny Marr.
Time was frustratingly running down minute by minute. Finally, we entered the final 2 mins of the game, but there was still time for another Wildcats penalty. This time, Stevie Whitfield was called on a Tripping call at 58.40. Bison used their Time Out, but Mettam was returned to the net, for the time being.
As we entered final minute, Mettam was summoned to the bench for the extra attacker. Bison almost scored, but a goal mouth scramble stopped play with 27 secs left. Wildcats called their Time Out, if only to give their players a little breather. Play started again in the Swindon zone, so Mettsy was kept on the bench this time.
Unfortunately, we just couldn't find a way past Marr and the final few seconds ran down with a Final Score of Wildcats 4 Bison 2.
It was a disappointing display by the guys, but hopefully, they can turn it around on Sunday, when the two teams meet again in Basingstoke.