Match report by John Slater
The Bees returned home to The Hive this past Sunday to face their local rivals the Basingstoke Bison after an impressive road win away to another local rival the Guildford Flames the previous evening.
The Bees went into the game at full strength and gave a home debut to new signing Oleg Lascenko, the visiting Bison were missing Alan Lack. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Tomas Hiadlovsky for the Bison, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Matt Thompson took charge of the match with Jason Earl & Nathan Carmichael on the lines.
The opening exchanges of the first period set the tone for the evening with the sides swapping early changes and the play swinging from end to end. It was with less than a minute gone in the match though that the first penalty of the evening was called as the Bees Carl Thompson was called for slashing. The visiting Bison sensed an early chance for the go ahead goal but despite efforts from Derek Roehl, Tomas Karpov and Rene Jarolin the Bees defence and Alex Mettam stood firm to kill off the advantage. The Bees then stepped up the pressure on the Bison as Luka Basic, Carl Thompson and Scott Spearing all forced Tomas Hiadlovsky in the Bison net into action. Stuart Mogg tried his luck from distance through a crowd but the puck deflected wide of the Bees net. With just under seven minutes on the clock the sides lost a player each as James Galazzi and Vanya Antonov got tangled up and both received a minor penalty. As the sides duked it out four on four David Gaborcik and Luka Basic combined well but the puck trickled just wide. Declan Balmer was denied by Alex Mettam and shortly after a Stuart Mogg blast caught Rene Jarolin in the side of the head and the Bison player left the ice hurt and played no further part in the game. The chances kept coming at each end of the ice with Derek Roehl coming close for the visitors and Lukas Basic seeing his short whistle across the front of the Bison net. Josh Smith rattled the Bison post with a shot from a Krystof Kafan pass before the Bison went straight down the other end of the ice and saw Shaun Thompson hit the Bees post with a wrist shot only seconds later. Another penalty against the home side Bees, Carl Graham for hooking, gave the visiting Bison another man advantage but Alex Mettam came up big twice to deny Ciaran Long and Tomas Karpov as the Bees dug deep to kill off the advantage again. In the dying moments of the period Mettam stacked the pads to rob Grant Rounding before Lukas Smital and Luka Basic combined well with the effort sailing agonisingly wide.
The fast and frenetic action kept up as the second period started at pace and it was the visiting side that would break the deadlock as Ciaran Long fired a long range shot in through a crowd and the puck made its way past a screened Alex Mettam. The Bees responded well as they raced down the ice from the face off and Hiadlovsky and the Bison defence had to scramble the puck away. The Bees put in a lot of work along the boards in an effort to pin the Bison into their end of the ice but chances were limited with the exception of a good effort in close from player/coach Lukas Smital. A penalty on Bees defenceman David Gaborcik for interference put the visitors back on the powerplay but a Ciaran Long shot was well blocked by Josh Tetlow and Jan Jarabek saw his shot pad saved to see off the advantage once more. The Bees stuck at it well however and Scott Spearing and Rio Grinell-Parke both came close to levelling the scores as the play continued to swing fast from end to end. A further Bison powerplay, with Scott Spearing sitting a hooking minor, again saw the Bison try to step up the pressure but a shorthanded break from Luka Basic and Carl Thompson showed the Bees were still looking to pull the score back. The man advantage however told as Jan Jarabek fired a shot in and Shaun Thompson scrambled the rebound past Alex Mettam to extend the visitors lead to two. It looked as though the Bison had extended their lead shortly after as Aaron Connolly broke clear but the goal was ruled out as he had strayed offside in the buildup. Matt Foord and Lukas Smital tried their luck from distance but Hiadlovsky stood firm. The Bison however kept pushing forward and Alex Mettam had to be on form to deny Stuart Mogg and Aaron Connolly but he could do nothing as Tomas Karpov intercepted a pass raced clear and beat the Bees netminder one on one. Late chances at each end of the ice were dealt with by the respective netminders as the period closed out with the visitors hold the 0-3 lead.
The third period was a much tighter affair than the previous but the action was no less fast paced than before. Early chances for Vanya Antonov and Shaun Thompson were well saved before Rio Grinell-Parke and Krystof Kafan forced Hiadlovsky into action at the other end. The Bees battled hard to find a foothold in the game and with the action swinging wildly from end to end the chances were coming thick and fast for both teams, the defences however were both on top. The Bees were creating the majority of the chances with Luka Basic, David Gaborcik, Alex Barker, Carl Graham and Martin Pavlicek all testing the Bison netminder. A collision between Krystof Kafan and the wandering Hiadlovsky, who had come out to play the puck, saw tempers erupt with players tying each other up and Declan Balmer and James Galazzi dropping the gloves to exchange blows – they both received 2+2 for fighting and Kafan sat for interference giving the Bison another powerplay chance. Alex Mettam and the Bees defence came up big to see off the advantage. The Bees pushed forward once more looking for their first goal of the evening and chances for Lukas Smital and Scott Spearing came and went. Another coming together on the boards resulted in Scott Spearing and Derek Roehl clashing and receiving 2+2 minors for roughing. Further chances for the home side, for Carl Thompson and James Galazzi, couldn’t find a way past the Bison netminder as time was running out for the home side. A final penalty for the Bees with less than a minute to go in the match seemed to have sealed the 0-3 win for the visitors but Hiadlovsky once again came out to play the puck but pressure from Luka Basic saw the Basingstoke keeper loose balance and control of the puck and the Bees forward tapped the puck home for the Bees only goal of the evening with twenty three seconds remaining. The goal proved to be only a consolation as the Bison saw out the remaining seconds for the win.
The man of the match awards went to Bees net minder Alex Mettam and to Jan Jarabek for the visiting Bison.
Period scores: 0-0, 0-3, 1-0
Bees scorers: Basic 1+0; Pavlicek & Stead 0+1
Bison scorers: S.Thompson, Karpov & Long 1+0; Balmer, Jarabek, Davies 0+1
Bees PIMS: 24 (Galazzi & Spearing 6; C.Thompson, Foord, Kafan, Graham, Gaborcik & Bench 2)
Bison PIMS: 10 (Roehl & Balmer 4; Antonov 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 47 (14, 17, 16)
Shots on Bison (Hiadlovsky): 26 (9, 6, 11)