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...
2nd of December 2019

GAME REPORT: Bison V's Raiders Saturday 30 November 2019

Final score: Basingstoke Bison 6-3 Raiders IHC

Saturday 30th November 2019

Bison MOM: Adam Jones – Raiders MOM: Sean Barry

Bison stats: Klejna 0+4, Harding 1+2, Jones 2+0, Morris 2+0, Tait 0+2, Malinsky 0+1, Sampford 1+0, Smith 0+1, Wilson 0+1

Netminder: Alex Mettam 30/3 (90.00%)

Raiders stats: Barry 0+2, Connolly 2+0, Ayliffe 0+1, Baldock 0+1, Novak 0+1, Sladkovsky 0+1, Sylvester 1+0

Netminder: Michael Gray 44/6 (86.36%)

PIM: Bison 46 - 53 Raiders.

Refs: Belfitt and Sevruk
Lino’s: MacPhee and Sitch-Cunningham

The Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison welcomed the Raiders of Romford to Planet Ice Basingstoke for the second time this season, with the home side looking to build on a highly impressive 2-4 victory away in Swindon on Friday night. Led by ex-Bison captain Aaron Connolly, the Raiders went into the clash aiming to level the series head-to-head at 2-2, having lost a thrilling 4-3 game last time out as the Bison won after penalties in Romford.

The visitors were forced into survival mode early on as netminder Michael Gray was called for Delay of the Game at 1:35 and whilst the Bison were unable to convert on the powerplay, they took the lead soon after as Alex Sampford (Klejna, Tait) collected a backhand pass by Klejna in close and wristed the puck past Gray at 4:23. Refusing to let the home side waltz to victory, Raiders piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but found Alex Mettam in fine form in net. The Herd would be forced to wait until 18:15 before they could move 2-0 ahead when Adam Jones (Wilson, Harding) took a pass just inside the Raiders zone before sending a shot through traffic and past a stricken Gray in net, leaving the home side two goals ahead going into the first break.

Early in the second period and both sides saw powerplay opportunities go begging, but thankfully for the home fans it would be the Bison who stretched their lead to 3-0 at 25:29. Seconds after exiting the penalty box, Liam Morris (Klejna, Smith) sped down the left wing before sniping the puck into the top shelf past Gray with a beautiful shot. Frustrations from the away side were growing and as the game approached half way, a coming together in the corner between Ashley Tait and Blaho Novak at 29:22 led to Raiders tough-guy Jack Flynn goading Michal Klejna towards a fight before Jay King stepped in to defend his team mate. Unfortunately for King, he was deemed to be ‘third man in’ and consequently given a Game Misconduct penalty for his troubles, with the result of all the penalties leaving the Raiders with a 4 minute powerplay, to the confusion of most inside the rink.

At 31:51 the Raiders handed themselves a lifeline as they scored their first goal of the night with Aaron Connolly (Baldock, Ayliffe) finishing smartly on the powerplay against his former side to make the score 3-1. Only a few minutes later both penalty boxes were being filled once again, as an incident off the play saw Josh Kelly and Liam Morris of the Bison, plus Blaho Novak and Mason Webster of the Raiders pay a visit to the penalty box with the Bison somehow being placed on the penalty kill again. For many years, this man scoring goals brought Bison fans delight but tonight it was despair instead as Aaron Connolly (Sladkovsky, Barry) scored his second powerplay goal of the game at 36:18 and reduced the Herd’s lead to one. Luckily that despair was short lived as Raiders ill-discipline gave the Bison a 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity and at 38:29 the Herd put themselves 4-2 up, as hard work down low allowed Adam Jones (Harding, Klejna) to pinch in and fire the puck through Gray’s five-hole.

An obviously accidental high-stick by Connolly at 39:04 drew blood from the side of Ryan Sutton’s face and unfortunately for the beloved ex-Bison captain, he received a 5+match penalty (later downgraded to 5+game as Sutton returned to play). The incident was unintentional and the reaction of some home fans was disappointing, suggesting they had forgotten how much ‘El Capitan’ had given to our club during his time here. As the game entered the final period the Raiders managed to successfully kill off the major penalty and hold the Bison at bay until a Tripping penalty on Ollie Baldock gave the Bison another chance on the powerplay. At 51:33 Liam Morris (Klejna, Tait) found himself with time and space in front of Gray in goal to finish a tic-tac-toe move and put the Bison 5-2 ahead, to the delight of the home fans ably led by the crazy D-block drummers.

Although the visitors were running out of time to stage a comeback, Raiders fans were given a sliver of hope at 56:19 when Jake Sylvester (Novak, Barry) completed a lovely move during 4-on-4 play, reducing the Herd’s lead to two goals. However, the threat of a comeback lasted merely 15 seconds as Adam Harding (Malinsky) was on hand to slot home after a wraparound attempt by Marek Malinsky and score the sixth goal of the night for the Bison. No further goals meant that the Bison took a comprehensive 6-3 win and a four point weekend, moving themselves back up into 3rd position in the league!

With a well deserved night off on Sunday, the Bison are next in action at home against the Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday 7th December at 6:30pm. See you then!