15th of December 2019
GAME REPORT: Bison V's Leeds Chiefs Saturday 14th Decemberember 2019Final score: Basingstoke Bison 2-4 Leeds Chiefs
Saturday 14th December 2019
Bison MOM: Jay King
Chiefs MOM: Ethan Hehir
Bison stats: Dewey 1+0, Morris 0+1, Stone 0+1, Sutton 1+0, Tait 0+1
Netminder: Alex Mettam 24/4 (83.33%)
Chiefs stats: Barnes 1+2, Hehir 1+2,
Boothroyd 0+2, Charnock 2+0, Bentham 0+1
Netminder: Sam Gospel 42/2 (95.24%)
PIM: Bison 6 – Chiefs 16.
SOG: Bison 42 – Chiefs 24.
Refs: Brooks and Jarvie
Lino’s: Ormond and Sitch-Cunningham
In the first of two games ‘at home’ this weekend, Saturday’s ‘Air the Bear’ night saw the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison welcome the Leeds Chiefs to town in the first ever clash between the two teams. Bison fans were delighted to see popular import forward Richard Bordowski return from a two-month spell on the sidelines, with Bayley Harewood also back in the line up. Although George Norcliffe continued to miss out, along with fellow Brit forward Alex Sampford.
Despite making the lengthy trip down from Leeds to Basingstoke with a depleted squad, the Chiefs showed they were up for the fight by scoring the opening goal of the game at 4:53, as Liam Charnock (Hehir) neatly tipped home a pass from the boards after being left all alone in front of Mettam in the Bison goal. A few minutes later the home side were called for Too Many Men on the ice and this gave Leeds the chance to extend their lead on the powerplay, however the Herd successfully killed off the penalty without too much trouble. The Bison undoubtedly had the majority of puck possession and were keeping Chiefs’ netminder Sam Gospel extremely busy, yet they could not find a way through and remained 0-1 behind heading into the first break.
The middle frame began as the first ended, the home side controlling the puck without any tangible results to show for it whilst the visitors looked to strike on the counter-attack. With the returning Richard Bordowski serving a Cross Checking penalty and Leeds defenceman Lewis Baldwin called for a clumsy Checking from Behind infringement, disaster struck during 4-on-4 play as a stretch pass set Adam Barnes (Boothroyd, Bentham) free and the Leeds forward slipped the puck into the net, putting the Chiefs 0-2 up at 28:27.
At 31:05 Richard Bentham took a Tripping penalty for the away side which sent the Herd’s powerplay unit to work and less than a minute later, the Bison finally scored their first goal of the game. Ryan Sutton (Tait) managed to deflect the puck past Gospel at 31:54 and celebrated in such style that hoped to inspire his side to a comeback, whilst fans inside the rink threw their Bears onto the ice in support of Naomi House children’s hospice. Just as the Herd faithful were beginning to think that their side had momentum, the Chiefs struck a blow and re-established their two goal lead as Liam Charnock (Hehir, Barnes) scored his second of the night at 33:35 with a neat one-timer from the right wing. The ever-impressive Bayley Harewood looked most likely to find the net for the home side but no further goals saw the Herd end the second period 1-3 behind and with plenty of work to rescue the game.
The final period started with a bang as Bison captain Elliott Dewey (Morris, Stone) found the net at 40:52 and made the score line 2-3, potting home a rebound after Liam Morris had sped down the left wing and fired a shot on Gospel, which proved too hot to handle. The home fans roared with delight as they understood how important this goal could be, especially so early on in the period. Despite looking somewhat disjointed, the Herd continued to pressure the short-benched Chiefs as they searched for an equaliser, meaning that when the away side scored their fourth goal of the game, it left them stunned. Young prospect Ethan Hehir (Barnes, Boothroyd) finished off a 2-on-1 move at 47:27 to move Leeds 2-4 ahead and leave the home side with a mountain to climb.
Unfortunately, said mountain would prove too big to climb, as the Bison pushed forward in search of answers but could not find a way past the inspired Gospel in net for the Chiefs. Each side had a single powerplay opportunity during the final 10 minutes of the game but neither managed to convert and even with Alex Mettam being pulled from the Bison net for the extra skater, the final buzzer sounded to leave the Leeds Chiefs with an unlikely, yet fully deserved victory.
Sunday sees the Bison take on the Chiefs once again in an ‘away game’, which is taking place at Planet Ice Basingstoke (face off at 5:30pm) due to Leeds’ new rink awaiting completion. Mr Nigel Simmonds will bring you his expert report from this game soon.