16th of December 2019
GAME REPORT: Leeds Chiefs V's Bison Sunday 15th Decemberember 2019Final Score: Leeds Chiefs 3 Trane Basingstoke Bison 2 (AOT)
MoM Chiefs: Charnock
MoM Bison : Morris
Chiefs Stats : Charnock 2+0, Houston 1+0, Hehir 0+1, Kopstals 0+1, Moore 0+1.
Nets : Gospel 43/2 (95.35%)
Bison Stats : Jones 1+0, Klejna 1+0, Tait 0+2, Morris 0+1, Ralph 0+1.
Nets : Mettam 22/2 (86.36%)
PiMs : Chiefs 18 Bison 6
SoG : Chiefs 22 Bison 43
Refs : Hogarth and Jarvie
Lino's : Earl and Miss Lack
Sunday's game was Part 2 of our Double 'HOME' Weekend against League new boys, the Leeds Chiefs.
After Saturday events, with the Leeds team bus caught up in traffic, arriving just after 6pm, after a quick warm-up, Face-Off was 45mins late (7.15pm) Leeds, only icing 12 skaters, played a great road game and fully deserved their 4-2. Can only imagine the Bison dressing room, was NOT the place to be after the game !!
So, a new day, gave the Bison another chance to make up for the poor showing on Sat, earn a "W" and get back on track, to keep up with the leading pack, in the League standings.
Mr Hogarth dropped the puck for this game and straight away, Bison came out stronger and looked up for it. They would get an early chance on the powerplay too. Firstly, Liam Charnock, with a Tripping call (1.17) and soon after, Joe Coulter was called for Hooking (1.51), which gave Bison a great opportunity on a 2-man advantage, to get the start they would've wanted, an early goal.
From the face-off, Klejna fed Tait and he picked out Adam Jones, who had time to skate in and wrist a laser top shelf, past Gospel (1.56). 1-0 Bison.
Chiefs returned to four skaters and soon after, returned to full strength as they killed the other penalty.
The Bison PP would get another chance at 6.44, when Charnock was called again, thus time for Hooking. Bison wasted the opportunity and Chiefs saw off the penalty. The rest of the period seemed to fly by and at the first break, Bison led by the single goal.
The 2nd Period began, and Chiefs would again find themselves in penalty trouble early on, when Player/Coach Sam Zajac picked up a High-Sticks call (22.33), when he accidently caught Tommy Ralph. But Chiefs solid defence would kill the penalty and return to full strength.
A few minutes later, the penalty box would get another visitor, when Adam Jones was called for Tripping (26.46). Within a minute, he was joined by Chiefs Lewis Baldwin, who picked up a Holding call (27.45). With both teams a player short, Bison wouldn't take long to double their lead though, Ralph bringing the puck out of defence before feeding Tait, who in turn fed Klejna, who skated over the blue line and let an absolute ripper go, which flew past Gospel in the Chiefs net (28.21. What a strike !
Bison were pretty much in control, playing better and with a two-goal lead to boot too, it was all looking very positive. But then, like it happens sometimes, teams can take their foot off the gas whilst appearing comfortable ...... that's a bad idea.....
Chiefs caught us with two quick Liam Charnock goals. The first was scored after Mettam had saved a shot, but Charnock was quickest to react and slot the puck past Alex on his backhand (30.20), with Hehir and Bentham assisting.
After restarting, Bison moved the puck around, but a poor turnover on our blueline, gave Chiefs another chance, when Kopstals fed an all alone Charnock and he skated in and slotted the puck past Mettsy (32.21) to tie the scoreline at 2 each. All the early hard work was undone and the 'travelling' Bison fans were silenced by the quick double strike.
Chiefs Adam Barnes picked up a Hooking call (36.41), but they saw it off successfully and that's how the 2nd period ended. Scores tied at 2 each.
As the 3rd period started, it appeared to be one of those games where the next goal could/would be very important. Chiefs defence with experienced players Boothroyd, Zajac and Bentham, add to that, netminder Sam Gospel, who was proving his worth backstopping all Bison's forward advances.
Richard Bentham was called for Hooking (43.32) but it was killed off. Then, Steven Moore was called for Hooking (46.21), but again it was successfully killed, and Chiefs returned to full strength. Tommy Ralph also got given a Hooking call (48.45), but like the two previous penalties, it was killed off.
We entered the final 10 minutes and with it still tied, it was looking like we might possibly be heading for an extra period. But then Chiefs got a PP chance, when Jay King cleared the puck over the plexi and was called for Delay of Game penalty (52.38). Mettsy was called upon to make a couple of saves, but our PK stayed solid and we went back to full strength. Down to 5mins to go and both teams were giving it everything to try and end it in regulation.
The final 2 minutes ran down and the final buzzer sounded, so it was off to Overtime and a bit of 3-on-3 hockey.
Klejna, Tait and Jones started for the Bison and they would try to end this game quickly and they got a perfect chance, when Charnock was called for a Cross-Check on Adam Harding (60.57). That would give Bison an extra skater. Bison moved the puck around and we almost ended it, when Klejna fed Harding, who got off a good shot, but somehow, Gospel made an unbelievable toe save, from what looked a certain goal, so much so, the Bison fans were already on the way up out of their seats, when Gospel made the save. Still dumbfounded - How did he save that ??
Chiefs returned to full strength and we went 4-on-4. Liam Morris got a shot off, Harding followed up, but again Gospel stone-walled the Bison. Then Chiefs cleared the puck up the ice and Lewis Houston set about chasing down Michal Klejna. There was a coming together on the boards just past the Bison bench, which Klej thought he'd been fouled, but no call came, so Houston skated away with the puck and zoned in on Mettam, before slotting the puck 5-hole and winning the game for Leeds and their 'short' bench spilled onto the ice to celebrate, whilst the Bison were left rue missed opportunities and obviously coming up against a hot goalie in Gospel, who faced a whopping 43 shots on goal. The beers went to Charnock for the Chiefs and Morris for Bison.
Certain it's not the results I'm sure Ash, Tony and the guys wanted, but sometimes it happens in hockey. At the end of the day, a point's a point. But you must give full credit to Sam Zajac and his understrength roster though, they played their hearts out all weekend and were fully rewarded with their first 4pt Weekend.
We have to dust ourselves down, work hard in practice and go again next weekend, with another double-header, this time it's Milton Keynes Lightning standing in our way. Bring it on MK !!
Before signing off, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ash, Tony, the Guys, the Backroom Staff, the Management, my fellow Media buds and last, but not least, the best fans in the League (and all their Families) a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year !!