16th of February 2020
GAME REPORT: Bison V's Swindon Wildcats Saturday 15th February 2020Final score: Basingstoke Bison 3-5 Swindon Wildcats
Saturday 15th February 2020
Bison MOM: Jay King – Wildcats MOM: Tomasz Malasinski
Bison stats: Sutton 1+1, Bordowski 1+0, Kelly 0+1, Mettam 0+1, Norris 1+0, Stone 0+1, Tait 0+1, Talbot 0+1
Netminder: Alex Mettam 32/5 (84.38%)
Wildcats stats: Nell 1+2, Bebris 1+1,
Birbraer 0+2, Jones 1+1, Malasinski 2+0, VanKleef 0+2, Liddiard 0+1, Rutkis 0+1
Netminder: Renny Marr 42/3 (92.86%)
PIM: Bison 47 – 14 Wildcats.
SOG: Bison 42 – 32 Wildcats.
Refs: Hands and Matthews
Lino’s: Cook and Gottlibet
The Trane sponsored Basingstoke Bison returned home for the first time in a fortnight as they played host to the Swindon Wildcats for the third time this season. The home side were looking for two valuable points in an extremely tight mid-table battle, whilst the visitors were hoping to reignite their title hopes.
The opening minutes were end-to-end and full of high tempo hockey as is customary in games between the two sides, until Ollie Stone was penalised for Slashing at 6:09 and the Wildcats’ dangerous powerplay unit went to work. The away side were unable to capitalise but shortly afterwards found themselves on a 5-on-3 powerplay for 1 minute and 54 seconds, thanks to penalties against Elliott Dewey and Liam Morris. Somehow the Herd killed off both penalties and as the first period entered its final stages, they were rewarded with the opening goal of the game at 18:24 as Sean Norris (Tait, Sutton) took the feed and rounded the defenceman before squeezing the puck through Renny Marr in net for a 1-0 lead.
There were chances at both ends to begin the middle frame as both Marr and Bison netminder Alex Mettam were kept busy, but when Tomasz Malasinski took a Holding penalty for the visitors this handed the home side their first powerplay of the night. Unfortunately the Bison couldn’t convert on the man advantage but made amends shortly after when Richard Bordowski (Talbot, Mettam) made the score 2-0 at 29:48, as he charged down the left wing before cutting in and seeing a powerful shot go over the line after hitting Marr in goal.
Having successfully killed off a Tripping penalty on Tyler VanKleef, the visitors would begin their fightback at 34:07 when Edgars Bebris (VanKleef, Jones) scored the Wildcats’ first of the night in close. The Bison were handed a golden opportunity to halt the momentum of their opponents when Steven Whitfield received a Charging penalty at 34:41, however the Herd were once again unable to score on the powerplay and were made to pay at 39:15 when Aaron Nell (Rutkis, Liddiard) finished neatly to level the game at 2-2.
An early goal in the final period would go a long way to settling the nerves for either side and thankfully for the home fans it would be the Bison who scored it, when Ryan Sutton (Stone, Kelly) tipped a blue-line shot past an unsighted Marr in net at 42:56, putting the Herd 3-2 ahead. Both teams would have a powerplay opportunity in the following minutes and although neither could make it count, as the final frame approached the half way point one call turned the game on its head.
A huge hit from Czech-forward Bordowski behind the Wildcats’ goal at 48:44 saw the Bison man thrown out on a 5+game penalty for Boarding, along with a questionable 2+2 penalty for Fighting after Sam Godfrey of the away side had taken exception to the hit, a move which saw him also receive 2+2 for Fighting.
As a result, the visitors were given a 5 minute powerplay and subsequently put on an incredible display of how to be effective on the man advantage. Within one minute the Wildcats’ had drawn level at 3-3 as import forward Tomasz Malasinski (Nell, Birbraer) sent a laser past Mettam at 49:34 to the despair of the home crowd. Less than two minutes later and the away side took the lead for the first time as Chris Jones (Birbraer, VanKleef) took a pass down low and ripped the puck into the net at 51:26. That lead was soon extended as Malasinski (Nell, Bebris) fired home again from close range at 52:03 to move the Wildcats 3-5 in front and leave the Bison with a mountain to climb, not for the first time this season.
The Herd were handed one final powerplay chance at 56:23 when Neil Liddiard was called for Holding, but it went unpunished as the visitors held firm and there was even time for Michal Klejna to pick up a Misconduct penalty after voicing his frustrations at an offside call against the Bison.
The mountain had proven too big to climb and the Wildcats celebrated a 3-5 win as the final buzzer sounded, with their 5 minute major powerplay ultimately being the difference.
Sunday 16th March sees the Bison head to Swindon for an immediate chance at redemption, where ‘Bison Moose’ himself Nigel Simmonds will report back from shortly.