25th of February 2020
GAME REPORT: MK Lightning V's Bison Sunday 23rd February 2020Final Score: MK Lightning 3 Trane Basingstoke Bison 5
MoM Lightning : Tanaka
MoM Bison : Bordowski
Refs : Miss Cuglietta and Mr Jarvie
Lino's : Mr Ions and Mr Lalonde
Lightning Stats : Jamieson 1+1, Dickin 1+0, Kana 1+0, S Russell 0+2, Tanaka 0+2.
Nets : Lawday 44/4 (90.91%)
Skinns 3/0 (100%) Empty Net (1/1)
Bison Stats : Tait 2+0, Norris 1+3, Klejna 1+2, Norcliffe 1+0, Harding 0+2, Dewey 0+1, Jones 0+1.
Nets : Mettam 29/3 (89.66%)
PiM : Lightning 34 Bison 20
SoG : Lightning 29 Bison 48
After a thoroughly deserved win over the ever improving Leeds Chiefs the previous evening, your Trane Basingstoke Bison made the short-ish trip to Buckinghamshire looking to complete their 2nd 4pt Weekend of 2020, when they took on the MK Lightning.
Bison still without Tommy Ralph was joined by Liam Morris, making Bison a little light on 'D'. Sam Smith gained valuable ice time and he impressed the previous evening.
From the drop of the first puck, it would be Bison who were putting pressure on the MK net. A couple of chances from Norris and Harding went the closest. Liam Stewart was awarded the first penalty of the night, when he was called for Tripping (1.33). The Bison PP unit set up and passed the puck around nicely but couldn't find a way past Lawday and Lightning returned to full strength. A little while later, Klejna was called for Interference (7.33), but like the Bison, the MK PP couldn't score on the man advantage.
Then MK found themselves in more penalty trouble, when first Taylor Dickin was given a Face-Off violation call (11.29) for 2 offences and then soon after, Lewis Christie was called for Slashing (12.31) giving the Bison about 30 secs of 5-on-3 and they took full advantage. Michal Klejna finding Adam Harding behind the net and he passed the puck right on front, where Sean Norris was left unmarked and he buried the puck past Lawday to open the scoring (13.00). A minute later and a bad line-change mix-up, left Basingstoke with 6 guys on the ice (not inc Mettam), so a Bench Minor was called for Too Many Men (13.55).
Both teams returned to full strength and that was pretty much all the action for the 1st period, so at the first interval, the score was Lightning 0 Bison 1.
The 2nd Period started and again Bison were on the front foot. Jones and Norris combined to set Tait free down the wing, he cut in and let a wrister go, which beat Lawday over his shoulder (21.20). MK's Ben Russell would pick up a Tripping call (22.05), but it was killed successfully.
Lightning would finally get on the board, when Cale Tanaka managed to wriggle through the Bison defence and got his shot away, Mettsy saved it but the puck fell back to Tanaka's feet and he roofed it to light the lamp (24.36), S Russell and Kana picking up the assists.
Bison would then hit penalty trouble, firstly captain Elliott Dewey picked up a Hooking call (25.53) but before that penalty ended, Adam Jones would pick up a Cross-Checking call (27 13). This gave MK, a slender 2-man advantage, which became a lot longer, when Klejna was given 2 + 2 for Roughing (27.41), after he reacted when Griffin had a couple of extra chops on Mettam, after Alex had frozen the puck. Not surprisingly there was no call for Griffin.
Lightning's powerplay units were all over the Bison, but every time the puck was sent towards the crease, there was either a small deflection that took the puck away from the free man or Mettsy kicked saved it. Bison returned to four skaters, but within a few seconds, they would be penalised again. Adam Jones again the guilty player, this time a Tripping call (29.59). The Bison PK units had to soak up even more MK pressure, which they did brilliantly. That was probably the turning point of the game, as Bison finally, got back to full strength.
Then, MK's Ben Russell picked up another minor penalty for Hooking (33.31) and the Bison PP would punish him. Sean Norris picking out Klejna, who fired the puck in, Lawday saved it, but the puck fell to George, who managed to swivel and release a shot that beat Lawday (35.02) to give Bison a two-goal lead.
The Lightning bench would pick up a minor Delay of Game call (38.09), after being warned, they continued to take their time changing lines for face-offs. Miss Cuglietta decided enough was enough and gave the penalty. Bison tried again to score but the clock ran down on the period. At the second break, Bison were worthy of their 3-1 lead.
Bison came out for the 3rd period with just 9 secs still on the PP and that was soon seen off by MK and they were back to full strength. Jordan Stokes would pick up a Slashing call (42.14), when he slashed Klej's stick out of his hands, right in front of Mr Jarvie, so it was an easy call. A minute later and Bison would get a 5-on-3, when James Griffin was called for Cross-Checking (43.49).
Unfortunately, as hard as they tried MK saw off both penalties successfully. It was such an enjoyable game to watch, two teams that like to play hockey and it was end-to-end. Just about to move into the final 10mins and Lightning got another goal back. Taylor Dickin set off up ice, passing off to Tanaka, who in turn found Jamieson, who fired the puck on net, which Dickin managed to get a piece on and it looped into the net past Mettam (49.56). Back to a one goal game now and it was pretty intense within the rink. Both sets of fans were in good voice (although the Bison fans, who although I am biased - are Loud, Louder, the Loudest fans in the League !!)
Thankfully, we didn't have long to wait until we opened up the two-goal lead again. Sean Norris, who again was having a good game, picked out Michal Klejna on the left point and Klej instantly got off a rather speculative shot on net and somehow it found its way past Lawday, who totally appeared to miss it. Goal timed at 51.29. I'm not 100% sure whether Lawday lost sight of it or whether it took a strange bounce right in front of him, but he'd definitely want that one back. See, "Good things do happen, when you fire on net" ......
Time was moving on and Ollie Stone would get called for Holding (52.41) as he held onto Stewart for a little too long. Out came the impressive Powerplay unit for MK, but again the Bison PK unit stood strong, cleared any loose pucks, blocked any shooting lanes and made sure Mettsy could see everything fired in on him, if they did get through.
Now under 4 minutes and every time MK went forward, we were hoping the light wouldnt go on. However, they weren't quite finished. Leigh Jamieson picked up the puck behind the MK net, he skated with speed up ice, beating a couple of Bison players, but he had to carry the puck around the back of the Bison net after being forced out that way, but still managed to go unchallenged as he cocked around in front of net and let a shot go, that went in off the post past Mettam (57.00).
Now it was serious S.B.T (squeaky b*m time !!), 3 minutes to go and with the Bison hanging on to a precious one goal lead. We entered the final 2 mins of the game and with MK on another offensive push, Lawday was summoned to the bench for the extra guy. Thankfully, we were able to pick off the puck and get it out of the zone, but back came MK, they fired in the puck, which Adam Harding managed to collect, he offloaded the puck to Elliott Dewey, who found Ash as he had just come off the bench. Ash took two strides into their zone before firing the puck into the empty net, which caused the Bison fans to breathe a massive sigh of relief, as well as roar with delight, at clinching the goal that would complete the 4pt weekend. Goal timed at 59.06.
However, that wasn't the end of the excitement for the viewing fans. Harry Ferguson received 2 + 10 for Boarding and also picked up a 2 min Roughing minor (59.35), as he checked someone into the boards down the far end, (unfortunately, we can't see that side from our seats) so I don't know which Bison player it was. Anyways, after all the handbags that end, it became pretty obvious that the two netties wanted a piece of the action. Mettsy offered Lawday and he accepted before they could get anywhere near each other, the Lino's stepped in between them. But it appeared the players may have pleaded with the officials to let them go and they stepped away leaving both goalies sizing each other up before unleashing blows. Mettsy definitely landed more punches and managed to get Lawdays jersey over his head, before the bout ended. Both guys were sent to their respective dressing rooms and that meant the back-ups had to come out for the final few seconds. Bison didn't let up and managed 3 shots on Deano in the remaining 25.1 secs of the game. Dan didn't face any.
The final buzzer sounded, and the "W" and maximum points were secured. It really was a good game to watch, high intensity from both teams. If we get them in the play-offs, I can only imagine they will be cracking games.
There were many positive points for the Bison this weekend, but I'd like to single out Sam Smith. With Ralphy and Mo scratched from both games, Sam stepped up and played probably his best hockey in a Bison jersey yet. Fingers crossed he'll continue to push for more ice time.
Well Done Sam !!