WEEKEND PREVIEW: BIG WEEKEND FOR THE HERD AS THE RACE FOR PLAY OFF PLACES HOTS UP

This weekends NIHL National league action sees the Trane Basingstoke Bison at home to Leeds Chiefs on Saturday, and away to MK Lightning on Sunday.

Saturday’s game at the Silverdome which has a 6.30pm face off, will be the Chiefs 3rd appearance in Basingstoke this season, but only their 2nd as the visiting side.

Leeds recent form shows excellent home wins...
10th of February 2020

GAME REPORT: Raiders V;s BISON Sunday 9th February 2020

Final Score: Raiders IHC 6 Trane Basingstoke Bison 4

MoM Raiders: Erik Piatak
MoM Bison: Richard Bordowski

Refs: Mr Hewitt and Mr Matthews
Lino's : Mr O'Neill and Mr Pullar

Raiders Stats: Piatak 2+1, Sylvester 1+1, Baldock 1+0, Pitchley 1+0, Sladovsky 1+0, A Connolly 0+2, Cooper 0+1, Lascenko 0+1, Novak 0+1.

Nets: James 42/4 (90.48%)

Bison Stats: Bordowski 2+1, Norris 1+0, Talbot 1+0, Harding 0+2, Klejna 0+1, Morris 0+1, Tait 0+1.

Nets: Mettam 31/6 (80.65%)

PiMs: Raiders 14 Bison 38
SoG's: Raiders 31 Bison 42

With only one game for the Bison this weekend, it was imperative that they try and get something out of the game. But first, they had to face the wrath of Storm Ciara, as they and their diehard fans battled through very high winds and heavy rain to make the trip to Essex, to face the Romford/London Raiders IHC.
Bison were still missing injured Tommy Ralph and he was joined by Alex Sampford, who was also a scratch for tonight’s game.

From the drop of the puck, it was Raiders that came out the strongest, but they did pick up the first penalty of the game, when Novak was called for Slashing (1.45). Bison almost took the lead on the powerplay, when talented youngster Sam Talbot, brought a good save from Ethan James after being set-up by Adam Harding. Still on the PP, Bison hit early penalty troubles of their own, when Adam Jones got a cross-check penalty (2.03) and that was soon followed by Jay King being given a tripping call (2.49). This gave Raiders a two-man advantage of just under a minute. They wouldn't waste it,
Eric Piatak scoring at back post (3.57), after picking up a rebound from Aaron Connolly, who had seen his shot saved. Bison managed to see off the other penalty successfully.

Bison would however get a swift equaliser, when Sean Norris scored (5.16), after good work from Tait and Klejna.

Jacob Ranson would be next to take a trip to the sinbin, when he was called for tripping (5.45), but Raiders killed the penalty.

Raiders would extend their lead through Sam Baldock (Sylvester, Cooper), as he scored a really nice goal. He picked up the puck, skated on and drilled a shot in off the bar past Mettam (8.25). A minute later Hallam Wilson became the next player to get a penalty, when he received a minor holding-the-stick call (9.25). Once again, Bison would pay the price. Piatak and Lascenko setting up Sylvester at the hash marks and he beat Mettsy with a good shot (10.03).

This caused the Bison to use their 'Time Out' early and from where I was sitting, Coach Tait was giving his team both barrels !!

Raiders Blaha Novak was called for holding (11.59), but again Raiders penalty-killers did their job.
Just as the period was nearing its conclusion, Richard Bardowski brought the Bison back to within one goal, as he scored unassisted (17.33), with a lovely shot that beat James in the Raiders net.
The period ended with the scoreline Raiders 3 Bison 2. James faced 14 shots, whilst Mettam faced only 10 shots.

The 2nd period started and instantly, the Bison were back in penalty trouble. Mr Pullar, one of the Lino's signalling a too-many-men call on our bench (20.25). Thankfully, we would kill it off successfully and returned to full strength.

Both teams would have opportunities to score, but both the netties were not letting anything beyond them and chance after chance went begging.

Paul Petts would take a penalty, a Roughing call (35.17), but from where we were sitting, we couldn't see what he had done, as it was in the blind corner of the rink. Bison penalty killers saw it off and once Pettsy had returned to the ice, it wouldn't be long before they were tested again, this time it was Ryan Sutton, who was called for Hooking (38.31).

Bison saw out the period and after a pretty uneventful period, the scoreline still read 3-2 in the home teams’ favour.

The 3rd period started with Raiders still having 32 secs on the PP - Bison would see it off though. Then Raiders Oleg Lascenko would pick up a holding penalty (41.09), but they also would kill the penalty. A few minutes later and Raiders would face another penalty against them. Mason Webster flipped the puck over the glass, as he tried to clear the puck out of the zone (47.43).

Unfortunately for the Bison, this would see Raiders extend their lead, when Sladkovsky scored short-handed (48.59), after Alex Mettam chose to try and clear the zone, but Novak batted down the puck, skated in and got his shot off, Mettam saved the initial shot, but the puck fell to Sladkovsky and he backhanded it past Mettsy.

Before the penalty expired, Raiders Sean Barry was called for holding-the-stick (49.32), giving the Bison a small two-man advantage. Raiders killed the first penalty, before Bison scored on the Powerplay, Richard Bordowski netting (51.02), after Liam Morris and Adam Harding set him up.

Just as we thought we'd got back into the game; Raiders came straight back. JJ Pitchley scoring unassisted (51.15), then as quick as the last goal, Bison came straight back, this time Sam Talbot netted (51.53) with a simple tap-in, after great work from Harding and Bordowski again.

A couple of minutes on and there was a good chance for Bison, but James made a good save. A coming together after the whistle meant Daniel Fuller and Sean Norris both received minor Cross-Checking penalties (56.20).

We entered the final 2 minutes of the game and still just a single goal separating the teams, most fans will know, there's usually always some late drama in the closing stages of these games and that wouldn't be any different. Michal Klejna was given a holding-the-stick penalty (58.16), after he'd been clearly hooked, but only Klejna was called. This didn't go down well with the visitors, but we had to play on. From the resulting powerplay, Raiders scored the goal that would secure the win/points. Eric Piatak (58.23) finding the net again, after good work from the ever-impressive Aaron Connolly. This caused more upset on the Bison bench. Coach Ashley Tait received a 10 Min misconduct for abuse-of-official and that was quickly followed by Michal Klejna, also receiving a 10 Min Misconduct, but he also picked up an added 2 mins too.

The remaining time ran down and Raiders had gained revenge from the previous weeks result.

It wasn't the greatest performance, but I felt right up to the last couple of minutes, we were still in the game, but just couldn't find that elusive game-tying goal.

Next weekend we have a double header against the Swindon Wildcats, who have recently been really inconsistent results wise. So, it could well be an interesting couple of games.