PLAY OFF 1/4 FINAL OPPONENTS CONFIRMED

After tonight's final games in the NIHL South 1, the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison can confirm that the Bison will play Streatham in a two leeged affair next weekend (23rd & 24th March 2019).

As communicated earlier this week the two-legged affair will take place as follows:


Away leg – Saturday 23rd March – Face off @ 5.30pm

Home leg - Sunday 24th...
Basingstoke Bison - EPL Champions
3rd of March 2019

GAME REPORT: Bison V's Raiders Saturday 2nd March 2019

Final Score: Trane Basingstoke Bison 6 London Raiders 0

By Nigel Simmonds

Ref: Matthews
Lino’s: Cook & Strain

MoM Bison: Klejna
MoM Raiders: Clements

Bison Stats: Klejna 1+4, Cowley 1+2, Harding 1+2, Tait 1+2, Morris 1+1, Norcliffe 1+0, King 0+1.
Nets: Mettam 17/0 (100%)

Raiders Stats: Nets: Gray 14/4 (71.43%) Clements 27/2 (92.59%)

Bison returned to league action on Saturday evening and their opponents were the London Raiders who were visiting for the final time this season. Bison have won both previous encounters at home, but have struggled away to London losing the last two visits to Romford. We could wrap the series with a victory.

London were missing Dan Scott, Jake Sylvester, Callum Wells & Mason Webster and Bison were also short a few players, Bordowski, Cooke and Ingoldsby all absent.

Mr Matthews was again the ref (don't know what we've done wrong to deserve that!) But then again, when he's at his best, he is probably the best ref in this league. After a lengthy delay, which appeared to be, due to an issue with the Raiders bench door, Mr Matthews got play under way.

Hallam Wilson would take an early Hooking penalty, timed at 2.08, but it was killed successfully. Soon after, Bison had a good chance to take the lead. Adam Harding getting into a great position to shoot, Gray saved, but the puck popped out and Michal Klejna was there to get a shot away, but Gray gloved the shot.

Bison did take the lead soon after. Ashley Tait cranking a shot off the post, which rebounded back, hit the netminder on the back and trickled back over the line. A little fortunate, but we've not had much of that lately, so it was very welcome. Russ Cowley & Liam Morris assisting the goal, timed at 9 minutes dead.

At 11.07, ex Bison favourite Aaron Connolly picked up a Hooking call. Bison would set about trying to score again. And they most certainly did. Michal Klejna fed Ash Tait on the point, he unleashed a shot which appeared to take a deflection before entering the net. Think Ash thought he'd got the goal, but it was announced that Adam Harding had got the last touch. The two looked at each other on the bench and Harding had motioned to Ash that it had hit his leg or skate on way through. Anyway, it was a Powerplay goal, timed at 11.22.

At 13.12 a nasty incident, as Brandon Ayliffe crushed Tait into the boards right in front of the Bison bench. The guys were rightly upset by this and a little scuffle ensued. Ayliffe was awarded a 2 + 10 for Boarding. He was soon joined in the box by Connolly, so Bison had a good spell of time, on the two-man advantage. Bison passed the puck around well, but appeared to be looking for that perfect pass. Raiders managed to kill off one penalty, but then Bison Man of Match Michal Klejna picked up the puck, drove past the d-man and managed to squeeze in front of net and delay his shot until Gray had committed himself, before snapping the puck into the net. Another PP goal, timed at 15.26. Harding & Cowley assisting the goal. Raiders returned to full strength.

The visitors weren't offering much offence, but then did get a chance when Matt Turner brought a good sliding save from Alex Mettam in the Bison net.

We entered the final minute and it would get even better for the Bison, when Klejna and Harding set up Norcliffe behind the goal. George skated out in front and fired the puck low and hard past Gray. Goal timed at 19.22.

The final seconds ran down and at the first break, the Bison had earned a great 4-0 lead.

At the start of the 2nd period, Raiders had made a netminder change, Ben Clements replacing the usually impressive Michael Gray.

It wasn't long before Clements saw his first action. Norcliffe and then Sampford, testing the new goalie.

Raiders then caught the Bison cold at the back, with youngster Tommy Huggett skating in all alone. Thankfully, Adam Jones had tracked him all the way back and just as Huggett was about to shoot, Jones just lifted his stick and stole the puck, that was great defending.

Then at 27.22, Josh Kelly was called 2 + 10 for Boarding, but it was nowhere as dangerous as Ayliffe's call. In fact, although it was clumsy by Josh, the Raiders guy never even hit the board, so it seemed a very harsh call. Bison did have a chance, when Jones set Harding free with a lovely pass, but his shot was well saved by Clements. Bison got back to full strength soon after.

Raiders would hit more penalty trouble, when Novak got called for Roughing at 30.26. Bison tried hard, but couldn't score, so Raiders saw off the penalty. Then at 34.34, Paul Petts took exception to a cross check on Jay King by the boards and stepped in to protect his teammate. Raiders didn't offer much and Bison killed off the penalty.

Tempers were beginning to get a little frayed. JJ Pitchley unhappy because he didn't get a call from Matthews, decided to just take out Jay King, as he skated over for a line change. Pitchley got called for Cross Check and was also given a 10 Min Misconduct call too.

The Bison took full advantage of the penalty, with Russ Cowley finishing a neat passing move, between Tait and Klejna. Powerplay goal timed at 38.30.

That was all the action for the 2nd period and it ended with Bison leading quite handsomely, with a scoreline of 5-0.

The 3rd period started and it was now all about trying to keep scoring and stop Raiders at the other end and getting Mettsy a shut-out.

Bison did score again and I think it was the best goal of the evening. Liam Morris skating onto a nice pass in the neutral zone and then then turning on the jets to get past the last London d-man and very much like Klejna early on, he wheeled back in front of goal, committed the goalie to go down before coolly slotting the puck past Clements. You could tell he really enjoyed that goal, very much alike the Bison fans, because they loved it. Goal timed at 45.22.

At 49.25, there was another coming together by the Bison bench. This time it was Elliott Dewey and Novak trading blows. Both received minors for Roughing. Olly Baldock soon followed them, as he also got a Roughing call, timed at 49.50. Bison couldn't improve on the goal count and Raiders returned to four skaters and then full strength soon after.

With just over 5 minutes to play, Brandon Webster thought he'd get involved. He picked up a Slashing call as he targeted Hallam Wilson. Hallam just laughed at him, as he skated away.

Raiders successfully killed the penalty and we entered the final 2 mins of the game. Raiders were a trying so hard to break their duck, but Bison kept managing to clear the zone and get breathing space. The final seconds run down and the final buzzer sounded. The final score being a comprehensive victory for the Bison 6-0.

It was a much better performance from the guys and hopefully our 'Mojo' has been found again and we can build on this victory for the last few coming weeks.