Match report by Yvonne Slater
The Bees face the league leading Telford Tigers at The Hive in the third meeting between the sides this season on Saturday evening. The Bees were missing Scott Spearing, Matt Foord, Josh Smith and Rupert Quiney from their line-up due to injury whilst the visiting Tigers were without Jonathan Weaver and Jason Silverthorn. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Jon Baston for the Tigers, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Dan Boardman took charge of the match with Jason Earl and Nathan Carmichael on the lines.
The home side Bees started the first period well and with a couple of early shots in on the Tigers recently signed netminder Jon Baston which rebounded away. Olegs Lascenko had the best of the early chances before the Tigers Matt Davies tried his luck from distance but he saw the puck was cleared by the Bees defence. The imposing figure of Tigers forward Doug Clarkson moved well into the Bees zone but he was edged out the play by two Bees players appearing either side of him. Still with the visiting Telford side in the zone Warren Tait fired the puck in but it deflected off Alex Mettam’s face mask. Bracknell clear the zone well and Carl Thompson found Rio Grinell-Parke well whose shot was well saved by Jon Baston. With the play swinging from end to end Telford headed down the ice as Doug Clarkson made his way past the blue line and let rip with a shot that rung off the Bees post having whistled past Alex Mettam. The Bees however collected the rebound and a nice pass from Alex Barker found Shaun Thompson but his effort sailed narrowly over the crossbar. The opening goal of the evening went the way of the Tigers with just under sixteen minutes on the clock as Doug Clarkson netted over Alex Mettams shoulder with assists to Matt Davies and Adam Jones. The final few minutes of the period saw more end to end action but with few real opportunities for either side in front of goal. The visiting Tigers headed into the period break with a narrow one goal lead.
The second period of the match got under way with Tigers creating an early chance with Alex Mettam having made a side was flat on the ice but the Tigers shot from the tight angle slid across the front of the empty net and away to the other side of the ice to safety. Continuing the early pressure the Tigers Adam Jones tries a shot but is sandwiched between two Bees players and the shot comes to nothing. Bees defenceman Harvey Stead fell afoul of the referee, taking a slashing minor penalty, with just under six minutes of the second period gone. With forty seconds left in the penalty the Tigers made the man advantage count as they doubled their lead with a Lubomir Korhon effort sneaking under Alex Mettams pads and trickling over the line, assists on the goal going to Matt Davies and ex-Bee Sam Oakford. Following the goal the Bees pushed forward but the game settled into contested end to end play. The Bees saw an effort from Martin Pavlicek go just over the Tigers bar before Luka Basic found Carl Thompson well who shot just wide the of the post. With a little under two minutes remaining in the period the Tigers Adam Jones took an interference minor penalty but despite their efforts the Bees couldn’t make the man advantage count and the clocked ticked down and the visiting Tigers headed into the break with a two goal lead but the Bees would start the final period with the remainder of the power play.
The third and final period started early with the Bees forcing a mad scramble in front of Jon Baston’s net with the Bees trying to get to the loose puck and force it over the line – however Baston manages to cover it in time to keep the Bees out. Just over a minute into the period the Tigers Milan Kolena caught Josh Tetlow near the boards and was handed a two plus ten penalty for checking from behind and the Bees James Galazzi joined him the penalty box on a cross-checking minor during the scrum after the hit. With the teams at four on four hockey the play again swung from end to end but with both teams limited to shots from distance. Back to five on five hockey, but with Kolena sitting the rest of ten minute penalty the sides were still exchanging possession but both netminders were equal to anything the teams could muster. Tiger’s defenceman Sam Oakford tried a blast from the blue line but the puck sailed over the Bees crossbar. David Gaborcik found Danny Ingoldsby with a long pass and Ingoldsby tried a close in effort but Jon Baston saved well once more. Martin Pavlicek also tried a long range shot from the blue line but again the puck went narrowly over the crossbar. As the visiting Tigers looked to seal the game they tried several efforts from range but a combination of Alex Mettam and the Bees defence kept them out well. Rio Grinell-Parke had a breakaway chance for the home side Bees but the puck was scrambled away by Baston once more. The Bees opted to take a time out at 57.36 to talk things over and only seconds later Alex Mettam was removed to allow the Bees to add an extra skater with one minute ten seconds left of the game. The Bees pushed forward and applied the pressure to the Tigers with Shaun Thompson and Luka Basic coming close. Bee’s hearts were broken and the two points sealed for the visitors however when Corey McEwen gathered a loose puck and shot towards the empty net from just over the half way line and netted the Tigers third goal of the evening with six seconds left of the game. Man of the match awards went to young forward Rio Grinell-Parke for the home side Bees and to Matthew Davies for the visiting Telford Tigers.
Period scores: 0-1; 0-1; 0-1
Bees scorers: None
Tigers scorers: Korhon, McEwen & Clarkson 1+0; Davies 0+2; Jones & Oakford 0+1
Bees PIMS: 4 (Stead & Galazzi 2)
Tigers PIMS: 14 (Kolena 12 & Jones 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam & Empty Net: 38 (15, 15, 8) + 1 (0, 0, 1)
Shots on Tigers (Baston): 28 (13, 5, 10)