Match report by Yvonne Slater
The Boxing Day clash at The Hive say the Bees take on their local rivals the Guildford Flames. The Bees were missing Scott Spearing, Josh Smith and Luka Basic due to injury and also Rio Grinell-Parke who was away at a Great Britain U18’s training camp whilst the visiting Flames were missing David Savage, Andy Melachrino & Matej Kralj. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Dean Skinns for the Flames, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Roman Szucs took charge of the match with Amy Lack & Flynn Sitch-Cunningham on the lines.
The local derby hadn’t even got going when less than thirty seconds into the game Bees player/coach Lukas Smital visited the penalty box for a two minute slashing penalty giving the visiting Flames an early powerplay. The Bees defensive unit did well however to kill off the penalty giving no clear chances to Guildford. A Josh Tetlow shot from the blue line forced the Flames netminder Dean Skinns into an early save as the home side applied some pressure of their own to the Guildford net. With just over three minutes gone the Flames Jared Lane made his way to the penalty box for a two minute hooking penalty giving the Bees their first power play of the evening. The puck was cleared from the zone with Marek Maslonka managing a break away for the visitors but the puck rebounded off the Bees cross bar. The Bees advantage did not last long as just over a minute into the penalty Lukas Smital took a two minute holding penalty, putting both teams onto even terms. The Flames kill their penalty and have a small power play time of their own but create no clear chances. Alex Mettam is called into action with two big saves from Michal Satek and Ben Campbell to keep the scoreboard clear as the Flames up their pressure and it eventually pays off with just under twelve minutes on the clock as Ben Campbell, on a breakaway, pokes the puck past Alex Mettam, assists going to Michal Satek and Sam Godfrey. The Bees hit more penalty trouble as Bees Captain Matt Foord picked up a hooking penalty within a minute of the Flames first goal, putting the Bees defensive unit into action. Marek Maslonka and Michal Satek tried their luck with two good shots on goal but Alex Mettam pulls off two big saves and the Bees kill off the penalty. Carl Thompson saw an effort in close on Dean Skinns cleared as the Bees looked for the equalising goal. Ex-Bee Sam Waller picked up a holding penalty for the visitors with just under five minutes left of the opening period. On the resulting Bees power play David Gaborcik fired in a shot which narrowly went over the bar. Guildford saw off the Bees advantage and the period drew to a close with Flames holding the narrow one goal lead.
The home side Bees started the second period well with sustained pressure being applied to the Flames but the visitors soaked up the pressure well. Bees forward Olegs Lascenko found Carl Thompson with a nice pass and Thompson forces a glove save from Dean Skinns as the tempo was with the Bees. Danny Ingoldsby shoots in but the puck was hurriedly cleared by the Flames and at the other end of the ice Ben Campbell was denied by Alex Mettam who pulled off a couple of big saves to keep the Flames lead at one goal. End to end play continued from both sides but with no further chances or penalties until the thirty two minute marker as Carl Thompson received a two minute interference penalty putting the Flames onto another power play. Again though the Bees re-grouped and dug deep to see off the advantage. Matt Foord fired in a fierce shot which Dean Skinns had to be alert to blocker save but the puck rebounds into play and the Bees collect and continue the pressure as Olegs Lascenko snapped in a wrist shot which creeps under the pads of Dean Skinns to level the scores with less than two minutes left of the period. Assists went to David Gaborcik and Harvey Stead. The action wasn’t over though as less than thirty seconds later a turn-over at the red line saw the Flames Danny Meyers pick up the puck and found himself one on one with Alex Mettam, the Ex-Bee made no mistake scoring Guildford’s second goal. The period would end with the visitors holding the narrow one goal lead once more.
The final period started with Olegs Lascenko firing in from the wing but the puck whistled in front the waiting Bees player whose as unable to get anything on the puck. Danny Ingoldsby found Martin Pavlicek well but the defencemans shot sailed narrowly wide. The Bees netminder Alex Mettam was kept busy at the other end of the ice and is called into action with another big pad save forcing the puck out of play. Alex Barker headed into the Guildford zone and found Olegs Lascenko well who tries to wrap the puck around the post, but Dean Skinns was alert and denied the goal. The teams both had lots of play in the neutral zone cancelling each other out until with less than eight minutes remaining of the game Marek Maslonka forces Alex Mettam to commit to the near side post and he fires the puck into the net on the far side scoring Guildford’s third goal of the evening with assists going to Tuomas Santavuori and Sam Godfrey. The Flames Tom Duggan received a two minute hooking penalty with just over five minutes left in the match and the Bees powerplay unit are called into action once again and this time they made no mistake as less than six seconds into the power play Harvey Stead fired the puck into the top left hand corner of the net over Dean Skinns shoulder, assists going to Alex Barker and Shaun Thompson. With their lead back down to one goal the Flames pushed forward and thought they had extended their lead again but the no goal signal was given by the referee as Alex Mettam pulls off another on the line save. With less than two minutes left on the clock Andy McKinney took a further penalty for the visitors, a two minute tripping minor, and with the Bees on the power play the Bee bench made the decision to remove Alex Mettam for the extra skater. The Flames looked to have sealed the two points as they shot the puck down the ice but the puck rebounded off the post and the Bees collect the puck to take it back up the ice and apply pressure on the Guildford net. Unfortunately for the home side however it was Ben Campbell who fired the puck down the ice and into the empty goal to score a short-handed goal with less than thirty seconds left on the clock. The Bees threw everything at Guildford in the dying minutes but the visitors hung on for the win.
The man of the match awards went to Bees netminder Alex Mettam and to Danny Meyers for the visiting Flames.
Period scores: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2
Bees scorers: Stead 1+1; Lascenko 1+0; S.Thompson, Barker & Gaborick 0+1
Flames scorers: Campbell 2+0; Maslonka & Meyers 1+0; Godfrey 0+2; Duggan, Satek, Eriksson & Santavuori 0+1
Bees PIMS: 8 (L.Smital 4; Foord & C.Thompson 2)
Flames PIMS: 8 (Duggan, Waller, Lane & McKinney 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam & Empty Net): 38 (11, 17, 10) + (0, 0, 1)
Shots on Flames (Skinns): 26 (8, 7, 11)