29th of October 2019
GAME REPORT: Bison V's Swindon Wildcats Sunday 27th October 2019Final score: Basingstoke Bison 3-5 Swindon Wildcats
Sunday 27th October 2019
Bison MOM: Adam Harding - Wildcats MOM: Tomasz Malasinski
Bison stats: Harding 2+1, Norcliffe 0+2, Sampford 1+1, Jones 0+1, Tait 0+1
Netminder: Alex Mettam 30/5 (83.33%)
Wildcats stats: Birbraer 0+3, Bebris 1+1, Malasinski 1+1, Nell 1+1, Johnson 0+1, Jones 1+0, Liddiard 0+1, Nethersell 0+1, Rutkis 0+1, L. Taylor 0+1
Netminder: Renny Marr 28/3 (89.29%)
PIM: Bison 8 – Wildcats 12.
SOG: Bison 28 – Wildcats 30
Refs: Jarvie and Matthews
Lino’s: Finch and Ormond
In a rare Sunday home game at Planet Ice Basingstoke, the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison welcomed the Swindon Wildcats to town in the first clash of the season between these southern rivals. Unlike their table-topping opponents, the Bison were able to enjoy a Saturday night off and looked to build on an impressive 9-2 win away in Bracknell last Sunday.
The Herd were missing forwards Richard Bordowski and Oscar Evans once again, but were able to call up youngster Sam Talbot, who is on a two-way deal with the Slough Jets. Alex Mettam started in net for the home side and Renny Marr began in goal for the visitors.
The opening exchanges were fast and physical, typical of games between these two sides, with both Mettam and Marr having to be alert early on to keep the score sheet blank. As the first period crept past the half way mark, the Bison were handed consecutive powerplay chances to open the scoring and at the second time of asking, they converted whilst Max Birbraer sat a Tripping penalty. Adam Harding (Jones, Tait) walked in from Marr’s right side after nice work down low and snuck the puck past Marr at 11:26 to the delight of the home fans. Sadly, the lead would last barely three minutes, as Chris Jones (Rutkis, Bebris) equalised at 14:32 after being given time out in front of Mettam in net. Less than a minute later and Swindon began to flex their muscles as Tomasz Malasinski (Birbraer, Nethersell) skipped into the Bison zone, past a defenceman and sent a laser through Mettam to put the away side 1-2 ahead at 15:11.
Luckily for the home supporters, just as quickly as the Bison had gone behind, they equalised thanks to Alex Sampford (Harding, Norcliffe) at 15:49, poking home the puck after a shot had been partially blocked and bounced around in front of netminder Marr. Within the space of five minutes, the game had come to life and the scoring for the first period wasn’t finished yet, however it would the Wildcats re-taking the lead with a goal timed at 18:46, courtesy of a blue line bullet from Aaron Nell (Malasinski, Birbraer) and sending the visitors into the first intermission 2-3 ahead.
Early in the second period and each side had an opportunity on the powerplay with little reward, but at 29:40 Loris Taylor (Johnson, Nell) scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal after a neat move which fooled a Bison defenceman. It would have been easy to roll over in these circumstances but that isn’t the Bison way and at 32:58, former Wildcat Adam Harding (Sampford, Norcliffe) gave the home crowd hope by reducing the deficit to 3-4, as the trio skated into the offensive zone and Harding collected a drop-pass before sending a bullet past Marr. The remainder of the second period passed without too much drama, each side killing off a sole penalty called against them, therefore leaving the home side one goal behind heading into the final period.
Having seen seven goals scored across the first two periods, both sets of fans could have been forgiven for thinking that a goal fest was on the cards, but sadly this wasn’t the case. The Bison were handed two powerplay chances early on in the third period but were able to convert, lacking the poise needed to really pressure the away side in the crucial moments. As time ticked away, the Herd still believed that a late equaliser was possible but at 57:36 Edgars Bebris (Liddiard, Birbraer) destroyed those dreams by tipping a blast past Alex Mettam and extending the Wildcats’ lead to 3-5.
The Bison called a timeout as the game entered the final minute and even pulled Mettam from goal at one point, but unfortunately to no avail as the final buzzer sounded and the Wildcats took both points.
Perhaps it is little consolation but the home side battled valiantly and helped to produce a fantastic game, all the more admirable considering they were without both imports for most of the game.
Next up for the Bison, they welcome the MK Lightning to Basingstoke on Saturday 2nd November before travelling to Peterborough the following day.