28th of January 2020
GAME REPORT: Peterborough Phantoms V's Bison Sunday 26th January 2020Final Score: Peterborough Phantoms 3 Trane Basingstoke Bison 1
MoM Phantoms: Stepenak
MoM Bison: Mettam
Refs: Mr Hewitt and Mr Sevruk
Linos: Mr Kowal and Mr MacPhee
Phantoms Stats: Stepenak 2+1, Billing 1+0, McEwan 0+2, Susters 0+2, J Ferrara 0+1.
Nets: Marr 17/1 (94.12%)
Bison Stat : Petts 1+0, Tait 0+1.
Nets: Mettam 39/3 (92.31%)
PiMs: Phantoms 22 Bison 46
SoG: Phantoms 39 Bison 17
After the previous evenings tough loss on penalty shots, the Trane Basingstoke Bison travelled to Cambridgeshire, to face the Phantoms, for the away leg of a back-to-back weekend versus Peterborough. Knowing how their rink is, it's always a tough place to go and try to play good hockey, as the tightness of the ice surface doesn't allow players too much time to play. Everything has to be done at a good pace and trying not to make errors/turnovers, because they usually don't go unpunished.
The duo of Hewitt and Sevruk were assigned to this game and before the game had started, you knew what type of game you were going to get. It'll be a stop/start affair that'll be littered with penalties. More of that in a second!!
The game started and within the first two minutes, Bison were already given their first penalty. Adam Harding called for Slashing (1.44). Just over 30secs later, Ashley Tait followed Harding into the box, also with a Slashing call (2.28). This gave Phantoms a good length of time with a two-man advantage. Alex Mettam was called upon time after time, as the Phantoms players kept firing pucks in on him, but he was equal to everything they had to offer and Bison were just about to return to full strength, when Tommy Ralph fired the puck over the glass, trying to clear the zone, so Phantoms went straight back on the PP. Again, everything fired at Mettam was being blocker-ed away or stick saved, or just plain throwing himself around his crease, just trying to get something on the puck. He was in sparkling form and made a couple of saves he really had no right to save. I do believe the commentary team on the live stream even used the "Call the Cops, there's been a robbery" line!!
Bison killed off Ralph's penalty and pretty much on the next shift, Bison took a surprising lead. Paul Petts scoring (6.53), after he followed up an Ash Tait shot which was saved by Marr. Bison had soaked up all that Powerplay pressure against and then went and scored against the run of play... how sweet !
Unfortunately, it wouldn't be long before Coach Tait was back in the box, this time it was a very lame Tripping call (8.13). Again, Alex (Mettam) would be called upon to make save after save, but he and his defence stood firm and Bison killed the penalty successfully. Phantoms kept up the pressure all the way through to the end of the first period. Mettam faced 15 shots, whilst Marr faced just 9, but only saved 8!! Just as the players were skating off to the locker rooms, Weldon and Dewey clashed by the Bison bench. The officials stepped in, but it took a few minutes to finally get all players off the ice. The games between these teams have certainly had an edge over the last few years.
Just before the 2nd Period started; Mr Sevruk had words with both benches... but it didn't appear to have any effect. Within the first minute of the period, both officials had called a combined 4 penalties.
Phantoms Glen Billing for Tripping (20.20), then Will Weldon slammed Sam Talbot into the boards. Unfortunately, Sam reacted as they skated away and picked up a penalty for his troubles. Weldon got a Charging minor and Talbot got a Roughing minor (both 20.40). Adam Jones became the next to the sinbin, when he was assessed a Tripping call (20.56).
The Bison PK units were getting lots of ice time and so far, they had done everything asked of them. They would get a lot more ice time throughout the game, as the officials were beginning to call pretty much everything they seemed fit to call, even though most calls were welcomed by the players/fans disapproval.
Bison's Jay King was next for a 2 min break, as he was called for High Sticks (25.14), but again the Bison net would come under more intense pressure from the Phantoms powerplay. Again, Mettam was in inspired form, saving shot after shot. It was incredible watching him turn away puck after puck, as Phantoms threw everything (Yes, even the kitchen sink!!) but the scoreboard still read 1-0 In Bison's favour.
We reached the halfway point of the game and Bison got another penalty... shock, horror! Tommy Ralph the guilty party this time, with an Interference call (30.05).
The previous evening the Phantoms line of Stepanek, McEwan and Susters caused Bison most trouble, much more than their other lines and again, it would be the same line that drew Peterborough level. Stepanek again unleashing an unstoppable shot through a crowd of players and past Mettam into the net. Goal timed at 31.53.
Tom Norton was next to be called as he picked up a Tripping call (34.46), but Bison weren't creating enough chances to test Marr in the Phantoms net. Soon after Phantoms returned to full strength, Mr Hewitt would give Peterborough another PP opportunity, when he gave Alex Sampford a Roughing call (37.00). Phantoms kept up the pressure on the Bison net, but that man Alex Mettam was too good and kept the scoreline level. Phantoms returned to full strength and the final minute of the 2nd period came to an end.
The 3rd period started, and the next goal would be quite important you felt. At 43.35, it happened. Petr Stepanek finishing well after being set free by James Ferrara. Corey McEwan also got an assist. Stepanek then got a penalty, a minor Tripping call (46.25), but it was killed successfully.
Then Adam Jones fell afoul of the officials, when he picked up a High-Sticks call (48.46), but he returned 2 mins later, as we killed the penalty. As we entered the final 5 mins of the game and Ollie Stone would pick up a Holding call (56.34), but Phantoms couldn't take advantage.
The remaining time was running down and as much as we tried, Phantoms were holding out and clearing the puck before we could get a stick on it. Into the last two minutes, then just into the final minute, Phantoms killed the game with Billing tapping in from close range, after Stepanek found him at the back post (59.12) Susters also with an assist. Morris and Stepanek exchanged blows and both players picked up Roughing penalties (also 59.12).
But it all turned sour, when Billing skating back towards the Phantoms bench decided to over celebrate right in front of our bench, which quite rightly incensed the Bison players. Both officials were taking ages to sort out things and this only made the tensions rise, especially Ash. He voiced his opinion and Sevruk gave him a misconduct, then another and that became a Game Penalty for Abuse of Official (59.12).
Finally, after what seemed a good 5 minutes, the game restarted and pretty much straight away there was another coming together. Harding and Weldon becoming entwined. Harding given a minor Roughing call, but Weldon rightly so picked up a 10 Min Misconduct, for his unclassy antics. Both penalties timed at 59.27. The game finally came to an end, but there was still time for an incident during the handshakes.
Final Score : Phantoms 3 Bison 1
Taking the beers for the home side was Stepanek, who was a thorn in Bison's side all weekend. Picking up our beers and if anybody else had been selected, it would've been a complete travesty, was super Alex Mettam. He was unbelievable, incredible, immense...... in fact, there just aren't enough superlatives to sum up Mettsy's performance !!
Next weekend, we take on Raiders and then a little trip to face the faltering Bees. Should be a cracking weekend and for me, it can only be a 4pt Weekend, nothing less !!