Match report by Yvonne Slater
The Bees first home game of 2017 saw the visit of their local M3 rivals the Basingstoke Bison in local derby action. The Bees were still missing Scott Spearing and Josh Smith to injury and also Harvey Stead to suspension as well as Captain Matt Foord but Rupert Quiney made his home debut whilst the visiting Bison were without Joe Miller and added Joe Rand. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Tomas Hiadlovsky for the Bison, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Stefan Hogarth took charge of the match with Justin Lalonde and Andy Cook on the lines.
The visitors from Basingstoke started the game at a blistering pace and early on Dan Davies rang the puck off the Bees post. The early pressure was rewarded as with just over a minute on the clock the puck was in the back of the Bees net as Dan Scott netted assisted Ciaran Long and Dan Davies. The Bison continued with the pressure and forced Alex Mettam to tip the puck away with his stick. A Derek Roehl shot in from the blue line also forced Alex Mettam into another save. Things got worse of the home side Bees as with three and a half minutes gone defenceman Josh Tetlow collected a two minute cross check penalty and put the Biosn onto their first power play of the evening. The made the man advantage count less than a minute into the power play as Dan Davies found the back of the net, with assists going to Tomas Karpov & Rene Jarolin. With the visitors two goals up early the Bees dug in and started to apply some pressure of their own with a couple of shots in on Tomas Hiadlovsky I the Bison net. The Bees had a power play opportunity of their own, just over five minutes in, when Dan Davies picked up a two minute interference minor. Luka Basic and Martin Pavlicek combined well with the defencemans shot whistling just wide of the net. Basic collected the loose puck and found Carl Thompson but his shot in close was tipped over the net and the Bison saw off the penalty. Lifted by the chances on the powerplay the Bees continued to push forward and Lukas Smital plays the puck to David Gaborick but again his shot trickled just past the Bison post. Play settled and the sides exchanged possession with end to end play but with no clear chances created, until just under twelve minutes into the opening period as the Bees Alex Barker found a way past Tomas Hiadlovsky after a clinical pass from Lukas Smital with a further assist going to Josh Tetlow. The Bees tried to keep the momentum going after the goal and Alex Barker came close again having robbed Joe Baird of the puck and getting his shot in on Tomas Hiadlovsky who deflected the puck away out of the zone. Shortly after the Bison picked up a second penalty as Joe Baird received a two minute slashing minor, just before the fourteen minute marker. The Bison penalty kill unit did well to see off the Bees advantage and had a mad advantage of their own shortly after as, with less than four minutes left of the period, James Galazzi was handed a two minute cross checking minor. The visiting Basingstoke side tried their luck from distance with the extra man but Alex Mettam stood firm to see the period out with the Bees trailing by one goal.
The home side Bees started the second period on the front foot forcing Tomas Hiadlovsky into an a couple of early saves then, with just over two minutes played, a shot was fired in on Tomas Hiadlovsky in the Bison net. The puck was well saved but the rebound fell to the Bees who again fired the puck back in and Hiadlovsky this time came up with a big pad save but it was third time lucky for the Bees as with Tomas flat on the ice Shaun Thompson pounced on the loose puck and fired into the back of the net, assists going to Alex Barker and Lukas Smital. For the next ten minutes the teams again exchanged possession and chances as the play swung from one end of the ice to the other. Ciaran Long came close for the Bison, Rio Grinell-Parke forced a big save from Hiadlovsky and Joe Baird tried his luck with a big blast from the blue line but both netminders were on good form and did well to keep the scoreboard as it was. With less than five minutes remaining in the second period Basingstoke grabbed their third goal was Derek Roehl netted with assists going to Rene Jarolin & Aaron Connolly. Things got worse for the home side as less than two minutes later the Bison found their way past Alex Mettam for goal number four, scored by Matt Towlaski assists from Declan Balmer and Tomas Karpov. The Bees were shell shocked and tried to force their way back into the game but a cross checking penalty to Lukas Smital with less than thirty seconds left of the period saw the visitors extend their lead further as Ciaran Long puts the puck into the Bees net with three seconds left on the second period clock, assists this time going to Rene Jarolin & Dan Davies. The three goals in five minutes had given Basingstoke a three goal lead heading into the final stanza.
The Bison opted to change their netminder at the start of the third period with Dan Weller-Evans replacing Tomas Hiadlovsky. The opening moments of the period saw quick end to end play but with both netminders standing firm to anything the opposition could throw at them. Five minutes into the period Grant Rounding & Luka Basic clashed after Danny Ingoldsby was checked into the boards, both take a trip to the penalty box, Basic with a two plus two for roughing and Grant Rounding with two minutes roughing and two minutes boarding. Only forty seconds later defenceman David Gaborcik picked up a two minute holding penalty and with Josh Tetlow following him to the bin on a two minute cross check penalty again only forty seconds after that the visiting Bison tried to make the most of a five on three man advantage – the Bees penalty kill unit, and Alex Mettam, did well to dig deep however and see off both penalty advantages. The penalty box doors didn’t stay shut for long thought as Dan Davies and Alex Barker clash and are forced to head to the boxes both on two minute roughing calls. A mere forty three seconds later Tomas Karpov was called for a two minute holding penalty but again both defences do well to limit the chances from both sides. Dan Scott and James Galazzi headed to center ice for a coming together but they both slip and hit the ice before any real action got going and for their troubles they both collected two plus two for roughing as well as each receiving ten minutes misconduct penalties. They both leave the ice for early showers. In the dying minutes of the game David Gaborcik takes a two minute tripping penalty but again the Bison failed to capitalise on the advantage. The action wasn’t over however as with the clock ticking down the Bison thought they had scored as the sixty minutes drew to a close but after a bit of discussion between the on ice officials the game was called as finished with the potential last second goal not being given as time was deemed to have expired.
Man of the match awards went to netminder Alex Mettam for the home side Bees and to Rene Jarolin for the visiting Basingstoke Bison.
Period scores: 1-2; 1-3; 0-0
Bees scorers: Barker 1+1; S.Thompson 1+0; L.Smital 0+2; Tetlow 0+1
Bison scorers: Davies & Long 1+1; Scott, Towalski & Roehl 1+0; Jarolin & Karpov 0+3; Balmer & Connolly 0+1
Bees PIMS: 34 (Galazzi 16; Tetlow, Barker, Basic & Gaborcik 4; L.Smital 2)
Bison PIMS: 26 (Scott 18; Rounding 4; Baird & Karpov 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 48 (12, 25, 11)
Shots on Bison (Hiadlovsky & Weller-Evans): 15 (10, 5, 0) & (0, 0, 8)