26th of January 2020
GAME REPORT: BISON V's Peterborough Phantoms Saturday 25th January 2020Final score: Basingstoke Bison 3-4 Peterborough Phantoms (After Penalty Shots)
Saturday 25th January 2020
Bison MOM: Richard Bordowski – Phantoms MOM: Callum Buglass
Bison stats: Bordowski 1+1, Tait 1+1, Harding 1+0, Jones 0+1, Morris 0+1, Norcliffe 0+1, Sampford 0+1
Netminder: Alex Mettam 33/3 (90.91%)
Phantoms stats: McEwen 1+2, Stepanek 1+1, Susters 1+1, Padelek 0+1, C.Pollard 0+1
Netminder: Jordan Marr 30/3 (90.00%)
PIM’s: Bison 18 – 12 Phantoms.
SOG: Bison 30 – 33 Phantoms.
Refs: Belfitt and Stephenson – Lino’s: Lack and Sitch-Cunningham
For their final home game in January, the Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison welcomed the Peterborough Phantoms to town in the first of a double-header weekend against the Cambridgeshire side. Fresh from annihilating the Bracknell Bees 8-2 last Saturday, the Herd were looking to leapfrog the Phantoms back into 3rd place while also securing a sixth consecutive home victory.
Keen to make home advantage count, the Bison took control in the early stages and made a dream start by opening the scoring at 2:52 through Adam Harding (Sampford, Norcliffe). After George ‘Gordon’ Norcliffe had gained the zone with speed and seen his effort go just wide, a pass from the right wing by Alex Sampford made its way to Harding all alone in front of net and he smartly flicked the puck top shelf past Jordan Marr. As ever, games between the two sides are evenly-matched and often see one side cancel out the other from a tactical point of view, meaning that powerplay opportunities are potentially very valuable. Robbie Ferrara of the visitors was called for Roughing at 7:05, whilst later on Bison player/coach Ashley Tait was penalised for Holding at 14:44, but neither team was able to capitalise on the man advantage. As the clock wound down towards the first period break, there was still time for netminder Alex Mettam to produce a heroic save with his legs and therefore keep the Herd 1-0 ahead after 20 minutes.
In contrast to the opening period it would be the away side that looked livelier as the middle frame began and when Ryan Sutton was called for a questionable Late Hit at 21:58, the Phantoms’ powerplay unit took full advantage and levelled the scores at 1-1 through import Petr Stepanek (McEwen, C.Pollard) at 22:38. Shortly afterwards, Hallam Wilson was sent to the penalty box for Slashing but the Herd almost regained the lead whilst shorthanded as Liam Morris and Ashley Tait went close on a breakaway but couldn’t convert. Peterborough’s other import forward Ales Padelek took a Hooking penalty at 33:55 and the Bison went close again, this time on the powerplay, but unfortunately they were unable to score and were punished soon after. The ever dangerous Martins Susters (McEwen, Stepanek) poked home a rebound at 37:38 to hand the visitors a 1-2 lead. Despite a late incident between Liam Morris and James Ferrara of the away side leaving the Phantoms with a powerplay, the score would remain unchanged heading into the second break.
A poor middle period had seen the Bison fall behind and they were desperate to bounce back early in the final frame, but disaster struck within the blink of an eye as Corey McEwen (Susters, Padelek) finished off a neat move down low to put the Phantoms 1-3 ahead at 41:01, leaving the Herd with plenty of work to do. Much to the disappointment of the home crowd, the final period was littered with penalties which did little to help the game flow and despite both teams going close on the man advantage, the score remained at 1-3 as the game entered the last ten minutes. Not for the first time this season, the Bison mounted an incredible comeback which began at 54:07 as Richard Bordowski (Tait, Jones) scored a powerplay goal with Robbie Ferrara in the penalty box for Tripping, the import forward poking home the puck which sat perfectly for him after an initial save by Marr in goal.
With less than four minutes to go Sean Norris was called for a Late Hit, much to the dismay of the Herd faithful, but luckily the home side would produce a moment of magic at 57:17 when Ashley Tait (Morris, Bordowski) scored shorthanded to level the scores at 3-3. Liam Morris had rushed up ice and seen his effort saved, but the rebound came out to ‘Tait the Great’ near the blue line who slipped past one Phantoms player before shooting from a tight angle and somehow squeezing the puck in at the near post, bringing the Bison players and fans to life once more.
Both sides would hold on until the third period ended and with a point guaranteed for each team, the game moved into overtime. The 3-on-3 nature of overtime typically provides end to end action and tonight was no different, as both teams battled for the winner and had chances on multiple breakaways but to no avail.
Sixty five minutes could not separate the sides so a penalty shoot out would decide the winner. Martins Susters went first for the Phantoms but his effort was saved, before Michal Klejna neatly scored the Bison’s first shot. Corey McEwen tucked the puck home through the five-hole of Mettam on the visitor’s second shot, shortly followed by Adam Harding seeing the Herd’s second attempt saved. Ales Padelek then stepped up to take the Phantoms’ third shot and scored with ease, with youngster Sean Norris electing to take the home side’s crucial third shot but unfortunately his effort was saved and the Phantoms were left victorious.
Losing is never fun but rescuing a point from being two goals down with 6 minutes left is something to be proud of. The Bison have an immediate chance at redemption as they travel to Peterborough on Sunday 26th January, where the journalistic guru Nigel Simmonds will soon report back from!