Match report by Steve Merry
The Bees second road game of 2017 saw them make the long trip north, this time to Hull to face the Pirates in Sunday evening action. The Bees were missing Scott Spearing, Matt Foord, Josh Smith and Rupert Quiney through injury whilst the home side Pirates were missing Jason Hewitt, Stanislav Lascek and Jordan Fisher. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Ashley Smith for the Pirates, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Andrew Miller took charge of the match with Scott Ellis and Luke Palmer on the lines.
The first period saw plenty of end to end action with both teams trying to gain the upper hand and at times the Hull home dominance did show but the Bees were edging their play and creating some great chances. At 8:56 the travelling Bees were in trouble when defenceman Martin Pavlicek was sent to the penalty box for holding the stick. Luca Basic pounced on to a loose puck and shot wide with the Bees shorthanded. Hull were handed another powerplay opportunity 13:00 when Danny Ingoldsby headed to the box for hooking. This time, again short-handed, Bees player/coach Lukas Smital had an excellent chance but shot narrowly wide. Ex-Bee Ryan Watt was sent to the box for a 10 minute misconduct for the home side at 14:06 after shouting something towards the Bees bench. At 15:40 it was the Bees powerplay unit that were given a chance Lee Haywood was handed a clipping minor. The Bees moved the puck around the zone well with the extra man but failed to find a way past Ashley Smith in the Pirates net. At 18:09 the Bees had a further power play opportunity this time as Martin Ondrej was sent to the box for holding the stick. The ensuing powerplay lasted only twenty seconds as after some great movement of the puck Harvey Stead waited until he had a clear shot on goal and sent the puck rocketing over Smiths right Shoulder giving the Bees a well-deserved 1-0 lead to take into the first period break.
The Bees took a few minutes to settle into the second period and an unfortunate turnover from Martin Pavlicek, as he mis-hit an attempted clearance and this gifted the puck to the Pirates Lee Bonner who fired the puck home to tie the game up at one goal apiece. The game started to tip into the Pirates favour as the period wore on but eventually the Bees dug in deep and got back on plan. Player/coach Lukas Smital fired home at 31:26 assisted by both Thompson brothers to give the Bees the lead once more. When influential Pirates import Andrej Themar was sent to the box for boarding the Bees again found themselves with the extra man and the powerplay lasted only thirty seconds as the Bracknell side made the advantage count with Alex Barker’s shot trickled into the net assisted by David Gaborcik and Shaun Thompson. The Pirates still continued to pressure but came up against an in-form Alex Mettam in the Bees net whose heroics were keeping the Pirates at bay. In the dying final two minutes of the period however Mettam was beaten for a second time at 38:46 when Ugnius Cizas scored assisted by Marcus Maynard for the home side Pirates.
Wanting to wrap the game up early the Bees came out full pace for the third and final period. James Galazzi was assessed a tripping minor early in the period but whilst short-handed Harvey Stead dug the puck out from behind the Bees net, found David Gaborcik who started to come out of the Bees zone and found Shaun Thompson on the opposing blue line. Thompson got tangled up between two Pirates players but managed to get free and scored on the breakaway at 42:20 to extend the Bees lead. The Bees had to dig deep and pull together to kill off a Lukas Smital hooking penalty at 44:07. Having seen off the Pirates advantage the Bees managed to extend their lead once again as Alex Barker scored at 49:00 assisted David Gaborcik and Shaun Thompson. Five minutes later the Bees made it a sweet six when Carl Thompson got in on the act after some great puck movement from Luca Basic and Lukas Smital. Only a minute later the Bees made it seven, at 55:33, when Olegs Lascenko netted on the breakaway assisted by Harvey Stead and David Gaborcik. The Pirates looked for a late consolation goal, but the Bees stood strong to all the Pirates could muster. In the final few minutes of the game, young defenseman Jack Hayes got himself a rare shift and despite a couple of late penalties the Bees stayed firm, with Alex Mettam still in fine form, and held on for the 7-2 win, much to the delight to the small band of travelling Bees fans who had made the long trip north.
The man of the match awards went to Bees forward Olegs Lascenko and to Ugnius Cizas for the home side Pirates.
Period scores: 0-1; 2-2; 0-4
Pirates scorers: Bonner & Cizas 1+0; Maynard 0+1
Bees scorers: Barker 2+0; S.Thompson 1+3; C.Thompson & Stead 1+2; L.Smital 1+1, Lascenko 1+0; Gaborcik 0+4 & Galazzi & Basic 0+1
Pirates PIMS: 16 (Watt 10; Haywood & Themar & Ondrej 2)
Bees PIMS: 16 (Ingoldsby 4; Stead, Smital, Galazzi, Basic, Tetlow & Pavlicek 2)
Shots on Pirates (Smith): 36 (16, 9, 11)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 26 (3, 11, 12)