18th of February 2020
GAME REPORT: Swindon Wildcats V;s Bison Sunday 16th February 2020Final Score: Swindon Wildcats 8 Trane Basingstoke Bison 7 (After OT)
MoM Wildcats : Vankleef
MoM Bison : Stone
Refs : Mr Fusco and Mr Matthews
Lino's : Mr Earl and Mr O'Neill
Wildcats Stats : Birbraer 2+4, Nell 2+3, C Jones 1+2, Bebris 1+1, Malasinski 1+1, Vankleef 1+1, Bullas 0+1, Rutkis 0+1.
Nets : Marr 39/7 (82.05%)
Bison Stats : Norcliffe 3+0, Norris 2+0, Klejna 1+3, Sampford 1+2, Jones 0+3, Harding 0+1, King 0+1, Mettam 0+1, Morris 0+1.
Nets : Mettam 45/8 (82.22%)
PiMs : Wildcats 16 Bison 22
SoG's : Wildcats 45 Bison 39
The Trane Basingstoke Bison made the short trip to Wiltshire to try and salvage something from the weekend after a tough home loss the previous evening against the same opponents, the Swindon Wildcats.
Messrs Fusco and Matthews were in charge for this game and from the off it would be the visiting Bison that got off to a great start, when George Norcliffe (Sampford, King) netted just after a minute (1.29). However, Wildcats wouldn't take long to reply, with Malasinski (Birbraer, Nell) being able to find a way through Mettam (3.09). Wildcats Ben Nethersell picked up the game’s first penalty, when he cross-checked Sean Norris into the boards (4.37). But Wildcats would kill the penalty.
Bison's Adam Jones would pick up the same call (9.38) and that brought out the impressive Wildcats PP unit that had been very effective the previous evening, sharpshooter Chris Jones scoring, after good set-up play from Rutkis and Vankleef (10.02).
A few seconds later and there was a coming together in the Bison crease, Sam Bullas going in late on Alex Mettam and Mettsy wasn't having any of it, as they traded blows. Mettam and Bullas both receiving minor roughing calls, with young Bayley Harewood sitting out Mettam's penalty (10.39).
Bison would get called again soon after, when Liam Morris picked up a Slashing call (11.52). We would see off one penalty, but then the Wildcats PP scored again. This time, Maxim Birbraer roofing the puck at the back post (13.50) after Bullas and Malasinski had done the donkey work around the crease.
Bison's Liam Morris would pick up another penalty (16.26), this time a Delay of Game penalty, when he accidently fired the puck over the glass, whilst he tried to clear the zone, but Bison would successfully kill the penalty.
Entering the final minute of the period and Wildcats Chris Godfrey would get a Slashing penalty (19.27). This bought out the Bison PP and they didn't need long to cut the deficit back to one goal, when Sean Norris (Jones, Harding) fired home (19.49). The period ended and Bison trailed 3-2 at first interval.
The 2nd Period started and the first few minutes were quite neutral with both teams squandering chances. However, Edgars Bebris would get called for hooking (27.28) and this would see the Bison tie the game when Sean Norris scored again (28.07), Adam Jones pass finding Michal Klejna, before he found Norris and Sean buried the puck past Marr. It would get even better for the Bison, when Norcliffe (Klejna, Morris) would score again, as he picked up the loose puck after a goalmouth scramble and backhanded the puck into an empty net (31.30). Sam Bullas took exception to Norcliffe scoring and picked up a roughing call at the same time.
A couple of minutes later, Alex Sampford (Klejna, Mettam) would send the travelling Bison fans into a frenzy, after he scored Bison's 6th goal (33.36) and it capped off a real purple 5 minutes spell for the visitors, scoring 3 unanswered goals. This left stunned Wildcats coach Aaron Nell into calling his 'Time Out' to get his team back on track and stop the rot.
Bison then hit penalty trouble, as firstly Ryan Sutton was called for tripping (34.29) and he was followed into the box, as Bison Captain Elliott Dewey picked up a delay of game penalty (35.32), for which I can only imagine that he must've closed his hand in the puck.
Bison successfully killed off the first penalty, before Bison Coach Ashley Tait was given a real soft hooking call (36.42), giving Wildcats more two-man advantage PP time.
Bison returned to four skaters, before Wildcats constant pressure finally paid off. Tyler Vankleef (Birbraer, C Jones) finishing with a powerful shot, which beat Mettam (37.51), as he slid across the goal. Wildcats would get another chance pretty much straight away, as Adam Jones picked up another poor hooking call by the officials (38.15).
The Bison PK unit managed to hold off any more of the Wildcats advances and they ended a cracking period of hockey with a slender lead, with the scoreline reading Wildcats 4 Bison 5.
The 3rd period started with Wildcats still just on the PP, but that ended and as Jones returned to the ice, he was set free up ice, but he couldn't beat Marr and the chance was gone. That didn't matter though, the very impressive Norcliffe (Sampford) completed his hat-trick (41.09) and Bison had regained their two-goal lead again.
But Swindon came straight back again, Birbraer (Nell) who was having a stand-out game, beat Mettam (41.57) and it appeared to take the wind out of Bison's sails.
Richard Bordowski was next to take a trip to the naughty step, when he was called for hooking (45.19), but there was no call on the Swindon player who had hooked Bordo no less than 10secs earlier. Really frustrating calls by the officials, especially as Swindon scored on the resulting powerplay. Bebris (Nell, C Jones) with the goal to tie the scores at 6 apiece (46.05).
Loris Taylor was given a hooking call (46.34), but it wouldn't be long before Bison picked up another penalty. Michal Klejna would receive a tripping call (47.51), much to his disagreement. Then a few seconds later, another penalty was called, with Sam Bullas given a tripping call (48.09). Wildcats killed off Taylor's penalty and returned to four skaters. Bison then returned to full strength and soon after Wildcats would also be back at full strength.
With both teams looking for the go-ahead goal, Jay King would air the puck too much and picked up a delay of game penalty (puck over glass) (51.03). The Wildcats PP unit, which consists of Malasinski, Birbraer, Bebris, Nell and Jones were soon back out. Jones and Birbraer combined to set up Nell and he buried the past Mettam (52.14) to give Wildcats the lead. Bison were rocked again, but there's one thing about this team, they honestly never know when they're beaten.
Into the final 5 minutes and Nell picked up a Hooking call (55.45). Ash immediately called Time Out and he and Tosh set about trying to plan another comeback. The powerplay came and went and time was ticking down. Into the final 2 mins and most of the Bison fans eyes were on Mettam and how long the bench would leave it to pull him for the extra attacker. Into the final minute now and with the face-off in Swindon's zone, it would soon be time. Bison won the face-off and Mettsy was off.......... now by the time Alex had reached the bench (about 5 secs) Bison had lit the lamp and scored another late equaliser. Michal Klejna (Jones) with a tap in at the back post after Marr had spilled Jones's shot. This sent the travelling Bison fans into ecstasy and the home crowd fell silent. But the was still 42 secs to play and anyone who knows hockey, knows that's plenty of time to score a goal. You can never rest on your laurels thinking the jobs done, until that final whistle/hooter/buzzer !!
Wildcats pressed and the puck came across and ended up in the Bison net. The Wildcats fans thought they might have won it, but the puck was clearly thrown in by Malasinski and Matthews correctly washed it out. Now with just over 10secs to play, there was a face-off in the Bison zone. Nell win it and laid the puck back to Vankleef, who unleashed his shot...........thankfully Mettsy was quick enough to pad it away and the clock ran down. These late late finishes are no good for the heart, I can tell you that.
Into OT we would go. Tait, Jones and Klejna started for Bison. It was quite cagey, but that's how overtime normally is, teams cycling the puck, trying to make the other team make a mistake of at least try and get a guy out of position, so you could counter on the breakaway.
OT was passing by with no real good scoring chances and it looked like we might go into the dreaded penalty shootout. Then Swindon made a change and Nell collected the puck from Birbraer and he skated into the Bison zone. Nell who had Adam Harding in front of him, just as he shot and the puck appeared to take the slightest deflection of Harding’s stick, which appeared to kill all the speed and the puck slid across the ice and through Mettam's five-hole and that sealed the win/extra point for Wildcats.
It was a 17-goal thriller, littered with penalties, but taking any point off Swindon is a result.
The ever-impressive Ollie Stone named Bison's MoM and quite frankly he deserves it most weeks.
Liam Morris had another solid weekend playing unorthodoxly on defence, but he seems to thrive on it.
1 point from 4 isn't what Ash would've wanted I'm sure, but he has to take heart that we outplayed them for long periods of the weekend. It's just unfortunate we couldn't hold on to the leads we had forged out.
Anyways, Leeds visit us on Saturday and we have a little trip to MK on Sunday. See you all next weekend !!