Last night the EIHA shared some great news for our plans to return to competitive play, when they announced that they had successfully secured from the government 1.2m for the three NIHL divisions.

This has been down to the determined efforts of the EIHA Board, and in particular board member Andrew Miller who has worked tirelessly as our NIHL National liaison...
18th of November 2019

GAME REPORT: RAIDERS V's Bison Sunday 17th November 2019

Final Score: Raiders IHC 3 Trane Basingstoke Bison 4 (after Pen Shots)

Refs : Mr Jarvie and Mr Matthews
Lino's : Mr Kisil and Miss Lack

MoM Raiders : Gray
MoM Bison : Talbot

Raiders Stats : A Connolly 1+0, Novak 1+0, Piatak 1+0, Ayliffe 0+1, Gray 0+1, Lascenko 0+1, Sladkovsky 0+1.

Nets : Gray 46/3 (93.48%)

Bison Stats : Klejna 1+1, Talbot 1+1, Sampford 1+0, Kelly 0+1, Stone 0+1, Sutton 0+1, Tait 0+1.

Nets : Weller-Evans 33/3 (90.91%)

PiMs : Raiders 8 Bison 8

With only one game this weekend, your Trane Basingstoke Bison travelled to Essex, to take on the London/Romford Raiders IHC (or whatever they're called this week !)

They were looking to continue their recent good run of results, 4 consecutive wins, from the last 4 games. In all of them Dan Weller-Evans has been given his chance between the pipes, and he hasn't let himself or the team down by remaining unbeaten. Dan would continue to keep net and Michael Gray would start for Raiders.

Mr Jarvie dropped the puck for the start of the game and from the off, Raiders put Bison under pressure and within 90 secs, that would pay dividends. Lascenko with a shot in from the point and Piatak, standing in front of goal just opened his blade of his stick and the puck rose over Dan's shoulder and into the top of the net. Goal timed at 1.26, with Ayliffe also getting an assist.
Not the start Bison, or their travelling fans (in big numbers tonight) wanted.

Raiders continued to pressure the Bison net and at 2.55, Adam Jones would fall foul of the officials, when he picked up a Hooking call. But Bison, would see that off successfully.

Once back to full strength, the pace of the game slowed a little, with both teams trying to create good goal-scoring opportunities, but not a lot came to fruition, until 16.23, when Bison got themselves level, with Josh Kelly bringing the puck out of the Bison zone, passing to Ryan Sutton, whose pass found Alex Sampford and he managed to find a way past the last Raiders d-man and slot the puck past Gray, to toe it up at 1 apiece.

Soon after, Raiders Lascenko was awarded a Hooking call (16.52), but Raiders returned to full strength and that was all the action for the first period. Shots on Goal read 5 on Dan & 16 on Gray ..... Not sure who was counting..... maybe Stevie Wonder? !!

The 2nd Period would start slowly, but again, with both teams trying to create good chances, but not a lot coming off. Bison Coach Ash Tait would get called at 26.11 for Hooking, but he felt it was a soft call, as he skated into the box. Luckily it didn't cost us, as the Bison PK unit killed the penalty off. Then it was Raiders to collect a penalty. Ex-Bison Dan Scott getting a Tripping call and then after the play came to a stop, he crunched Bayley Harewood into the board and collected a Roughing call too!!

Bison had 4 minutes of the man advantage, but like occasional previous evenings, the extra man on the ice, wasn't always used to our best ability. Our best opportunity was when we had a 3-on-1, with Klejna, Tait and Harding. Klejna's pass to Ash and he skated in, thinking he might pass to Harding, but he chose to go alone and unfortunately from this miss, Raiders would go immediately up the ice and score short-handed. Gray passing to Sladkovsky and he slipped in Novak, who out-deked Dan and slid the puck home, to give the home team the lead (29.53).

A few minutes later, Bison would get another powerplay, when Ayliffe was given a Tripping call, but like the previous penalty, we wouldn't use the extra man to our advantage and paid the ultimate price again. Raiders cleared the puck down the ice and Dan collected the puck, but he dithered a little, not releasing the puck quick enough and that's all the impetus Aaron Connolly needed. He closed Dan down and batted down his attempt to clear, before backhanding the puck into the empty net. Goal timed at 37.30. It was definitely a moment to forget for Dan, but he wouldn't let it get to him and he would certainly make up for it (more of that later!).

Bison had the ever-impressing Sam Talbot back in the line-up again and he would have a good (and bad) last couple of minutes of the period.

Needing to get back in the game, you felt Bison had to score next...... and that's exactly what happened. Ashley Tait collected the puck behind the net from Michal Klejna, before picking out Talbot in front of net and Sam snapped his shot past Gray to close the scoreline to one behind (39.01).

Seconds later and Talbot almost scored again. Another little foray forward, with Klejna picking out Talbot at the back post, but this time Sam, would miss what looked like a 'sitter', when he somehow shot wide, missing the open net, with Gray well out of position. The period ended soon after, just one goal behind at 3-2. Again, the SoG were announced and appeared quite high and definitely more in favour of the home netminder. Dan facing 14 shots, whilst Gray was alleged to have faced 17!

The 3rd period started and the game was still in Bison's grasp. Both teams trying to find another goal, but opportunities were going begging. Bayley Harewood got a Penalty at 49.34, when he caught Piatak slightly high with his stick. Thankfully no blood was drawn, so it was Just a minor penalty called.

Bison would kill the penalty and returned to full strength looking for the all-important equaliser. After a couple of missed chances, the Bison skated into the Raiders zone. Talbot passing to Ollie Stone, who in turn found Klejna in space and Michal wristed an unstoppable shot past Gray in net, bringing the Bison bench and the noisy travelling fans to their feet. Goal timed at 55.22.

Now all level, it was going to be a very tense final few minutes of the game. Neither team could find a winner, so we were going to OT again. Bison started with Klej, Tait and Jones. Both teams were tentative in the extra period and didn't create many good chances. However, Dan did come up with a massive pad save to keep our hopes alive before we entered the final minute of OT. Then Adam Jones picked up a Hooking call, timed at 64.19. Raiders gained an extra player on the ice and set about making us pay.

With 19secs left with a face off in the Bison zone, Raiders called a Time Out. Thankfully Klej won the face-off and the puck came out of the zone, allowing Raiders one last push, but nothing happened, and the buzzer sounded to end the game.

So, after 65 minutes played, it all comes down to a Penalty Shoot-out to decide where the extra point was going. Bison's first 3 designated shooters were, Klejna, Harding & Malinsky (playing against Raiders for the first time, since being gassed by them a month ago). Raiders went with Sladkovsky, Piatak & Novak.

Bison were first to take.........
Klej stepped up and coolly slotted past Gray. Sladkovsky followed and he scored, with a nifty deke to score on the backhand. Harding skated in, but Gray appeared to get a piece of the puck. Piatak was next up and skated in at speed, before snapping a shot off the post. Marek Malinsky skated up and Gray definitely got the save this time, before jawing off at Marek, as he skated away. So, it was down to Novak to win it. He skated in........ but missed the net. Now it goes to sudden death, with the home team going again next. There were a few rounds, so I'll just list them......
Sladkovsky...... MISS
Klejna...... SAVE
Piatak...... SAVE (Superb glove save by Dan)
Harding...... MISS
Sylvester...... SAVE

This brought Malinsky back out...... He skated up the ice, picked his spot and despatched the puck past Gray, before wheeling away in delight and as the whole team came onto the ice, they all celebrated in front of the travelling Bison fans, as the home fans filtered out quite quickly, leaving the stands empty.

What a game, certainly not for the faint-hearted, especially the OT and Shoot-Out !!

Sam Talbot picked up the beers for the Bison, whilst Michael Gray was Raiders recipient.

Dan Weller-Evans again had a very good game and is certainly repaying the faith, that Ash andTosh have put into him by giving him these starts. But why he's playing so well, why change things. He appears to have Alex Mettam's full support, which is great to see, with Mettsy giving Dan all the advice and encouragement he needs.

Bison are back in-home action on Saturday, when Bracknell visit, before we have the long jaunt up to Hull on Sunday. Already looking forward to that "Road Trip" !!