4th of November 2019
GAME REPORT: Bison V's MK Lightning Saturday 2nd November 2019Final score: Basingstoke Bison 3-2 Milton Keynes Lightning (after Overtime)
Saturday 2nd November 2019
Bison MOM: Weller-Evans
Lightning MOM: Stones
Bison stats: Harding 1+1, Malinsky 0+2, Sampford 1+1, Norcliffe 1+0, Morris 0+1, Tait 0+1
Netminder: Dan Weller-Evans 29/2 (93.10%)
Lightning stats: Carlon 1+0, Grinell-Parke 0+1, Narhi 1+0
Netminder: Brandon Stones 32/3 (90.63%)
PIM: Bison 6 – Lightning 24.
SOG: Bison 32 – Lightning 29
Refs: Matthews and Rose
Lino’s: MacPhee and Ormond
With Halloween behind us and Guy Fawkes Night fast approaching, the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison looked to produce their own form of ‘fireworks’ on home ice as they faced the MK Lightning for the first time since the 2016/2017 season. The Herd were looking for their first home win in three games after narrow defeats to both Hull and Swindon, with the Lightning entering the game languishing in a surprising 10th place. Already without forwards Richard Bordowski and Oscar Evans due to injury, the Bison were also missing Michal Klejna and Sam Smith but welcomed two-way forward Sam Talbot once again and were boosted by the mid-week signing of import Marek Malinsky as injury cover, with the Czech forward having begun the season in Romford.
Brandon Stones began in net for the Lightning, with Dan Weller-Evans getting the start for the home side.
The home side’s penalty-kill unit was tested early on as Hallam Wilson was called for Hooking at 5:41 and although the Lightning were unable to convert on the man advantage, they made amends shortly after as Tom Carlon (Grinell-Parke) put the away side 0-1 ahead at 11:12 thanks to a close range effort that snuck through Weller-Evans, to the delight of the noisy travelling fans. Conceding the opening goal of the game acted as a catalyst for the Herd and when Logan Prince was called for Holding at 12:38, the Bison immediately set about levelling the scores on the powerplay. With only 10 seconds remaining on the penalty, Alex Sampford (Malinsky, Morris) scored the home side’s first goal of the night at 14:28, poking home the puck after a scramble around the net in front of Stones. Momentum was now firmly with the Bison and a late goal at 19:53 gave them a crucial 2-1 lead heading into the first break, as George Norcliffe (Sampford, Harding) was able to flick the puck home after an initial save by Stones.
Early in the second period and ever-impressive youngster Sam Talbot came close to extending the Herd’s lead with a cracking shot which rattled the crossbar, before the home side were then forced to kill off a Tripping penalty on Josh Kelly. Ill discipline would be the story of the second period and the visitors’ poor disciplinary record so far this season threatened to ruin their chances of victory in this game as they took five successive penalties. This gave the Bison plenty of powerplay practice and at one stage they had a full two minutes of 5-on-3 play but were unable to convert, leaving the home fans frustrated. Adam Jones was called for Hooking at 38:37 and the MK Lightning briefly celebrated with the belief they had equalised at 2-2, however the goal was immediately disallowed for a man in the crease and the second period ended with the Bison still 2-1 ahead.
As the game entered the final period, the Herd were hoping to extend their lead and extinguish any hopes of an upset but after the visitors killed off a Tripping penalty on Cale Tanaka, import forward Ari Narhi tied the game at 2-2. An errant pass across the Bison zone went straight to Narhi (unassisted) and with time alone in front of Weller-Evans, he dispatched the puck past the netminder at 49:49 to the annoyance of the home crowd. Both teams went in search of the game winning goal and had clear chances but Weller-Evans and Stones both stood firm in net to keep the game level as the clock wound down.
The Lightning called their timeout inside the final 30 seconds but no further action meant that for the second time in three weeks at home, the Bison were heading for overtime.
Thankfully for the home fans, there would be a far happier ending this time around as Adam Harding (Tait, Malinsky) secured the extra point for the Bison at 62:49. After receiving the puck in the Bison zone during a line change, Harding charged down the left wing and across the blue line before stepping inside and sending a bullet past Stones into the top corner of the net.
The Bison faithful erupted with joy in the stands as the home side piled onto the ice in celebration of a hard fought 3-2 victory, against a valiant MK Lightning effort which saw them pick up a well deserved point.
Sunday sees the Bison travel to Peterborough to face the Phantoms, where Bison super fan Nigel Simmonds will as always provide his away game report, before the Herd return to home ice next Saturday to take on the Telford Tigers.