Final Score : Wildcats 5 Bison 2

By Nigel Simmonds

Refs : Mr Brooks & Mr Jarvie

Lino’s : Miss Prior (Lack) & Mr Macphee

With no home fixture this weekend, your GalxC Cooling Services Basingstoke Bison made the short-ish trip to Wiltshire, to take on the high flying Swindon Wildcats, who had just booked a place in the Autumn Cup Trophy, where they will face the Leeds Knights.

The Bison were looking to avenge the loss they suffered, at the hands of the same opponent, a week earlier…
Bison, still missing influential player Adam Harding and Paul Petts, were joined by Hallam Wilson on the sidelines, through injury, but the Bison were boosted by the return of solid d-man Ollie Stone & forward Alex Sampford.

Dan Weller-Evans got the nod to start ahead of Alex Mettam between the pipes and he faced a few shots in the first couple of minutes. Bison however, took an early lead, when Aidan Doughty surged up ice, he dropped the puck to Adam Jones and he fired the puck on net. It was saved by Marr, but the puck fell back to Jones again and this time, he forced the puck home, to give the visitors the lead (3.23).

A few minutes later and Weller-Evans was called into action again. He made a low save to his right, but immediately signalled to the bench, that he was in trouble. Unfortunately, that was the end of his night and he was helped off the ice, to the Bison locker room. Alex Mettam replacing Dan, with only 7.45 of the game gone.

Bison were playing well and they cleared the zone, whenever Wildcats made a charge forward.

At 15.48, Wildcats youngster Jack Goodchild, caught Liam Morris with a High Stick and was given the appropriate penalty call, which gave the Bison the first opportunity in the powerplay. Bison moving the puck around well, had a couple of chances, but Marr kept them out. Still on the PP, Alex Roberts found Adam Jones, who fired his wrist shot on goal and Zack Milton was in front of net and he got a cheeky little tip on the puck, which beat Marr, to give the Bison a thoroughly deserved 2-0 lead (16.22) …

Soon after, Jay King was assessed a Tripping call (17.10), but the Bison continued to clear the puck, whenever it came into our zone and the penalty was killed successfully.

That was all the action for the 1st period and at the break, Bison left the ice, with a deserved lead.

Dan faced 6 shots before he left the game & Mettsy faced 3 shots, where as Renny Marr faced 9 shots too.

Into the 2nd period and Bison took an early penalty, when Alex Roberts was given a Tripping call (22.05), but Bison killed the penalty successfully. They almost extended their lead, when Ashley Tait fed Liam Morris, who managed to wriggle between two Wildcats defenders and get his shot off. Marr made the save, but the puck just eluded Tait’s stick, as he followed up the play and it went to safety.

Then at 29.19, Wildcats finally got on the board with a goal… Edgars Bebris feeding Neil Liddiard on the point and he fired the puck in on goal. Mettam made the save, but the puck fell so kindly to Emil Svec, who cooly slotted the puck past a forlorn diving Mettam..

This seemed to fire up the Wildcats and their fans, as they started to raise the noise in their barn.

Balint Pakozdi was next to score (33.31), when Swindon player/coach Aaron Nell created an opening for the Hungarian, when he drew in a couple of Bison players behind the net. Nell fed the puck out in front and with Pakozdi all alone, he drilled the puck past Mettam to give Swindon the lead.
Worse was to follow for the Bison, when they conceded again, soon after. The impressive Pakozdi scoring his second of the night, when he was neatly fed by Tomas Malasinski this time and buried the puck with aplomb (36.03).

This stunned the travelling Bison players/fans alike. Somehow, we had let a two goal lead, turn into a 3-2 advantage for the home team.

The remaining few seconds ran down and the buzzer sounded to end the 2nd period, with the scoreline reading disappointingly, Wildcats 3 Bison 2.

As both teams left the ice, their was an altercation between a few Wildcats fans and the Bison players. I can only assume, this was mainly aimed at Bison Coach Ashley Tait, after the incident a few seconds earlier. Apparently, one of the Wildcats fans was escorted from the rink, for his actions in the coming together. Shots on goal, we’re a whopping 16 on Mettam and a very lowly 4 on Marr.

Into the 3rd period we went and with only a goal behind, there was still a chance for the Bison to get something out of this game.  We created a few chances, mainly through Norcliffe, Morris and Tait, but all were seen off by the solid Wildcats defence, boosted by ex-Bison player Declan Balmer, who had put pen to paper a couple of days before. Was really hoping we could’ve snapped him up, but alas, he chose Swindon. Sorry, went off topic there…. back to the game.. !

With just under 10 minutes to play, Wildcats scored again (51.51)… Nell finding Pakozdi, who in turn, picked out Malasinski skating in at the back post, to fire the puck into the net and extend the lead to two goals. This soon became a three goal advantage, when an unforgivably poor turnover by the Bison, gave Bebris time to pick out Svec all alone and he despatched the puck past Mettam (55.20) to put the final nail in Bison’s coffin…

The final couple of minutes ran down and Swindon completed a complete turnaround, scoring 5 unanswered goals, to seal victory, sending their fans home happy.

Man of the Match :
Wildcats : Floyd Taylor
Bison : Liam Morris

Stats :
Wildcats : Pakozdi 2+1, Svec 2+0, Malasinski 1+1, Bebris 0+2, Nell 0+2, Liddiard 0+1.
Nets : Marr 21/2  (90.48%)
Empty Net  0.27  (0/0)

Stats :
Bison : Jones 1+1, Milton 1+0, Doughty 0+1, Roberts 0+1.
Nets : Weller-Evans  6/0  (100%)
Mettam 25/5  (80.00%)

Shots on Goal : Wildcats 31 Bison 21
Penalties (PiMs) : Wildcats 2 Bison

The Bison face another daunting road trip on Sunday, as they make the long trip up to Yorkshire, to face league leading Sheffield Steeldogs.
Hopefully, we can get a result up there.

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