Match report by Yvonne Slater
Sunday evening the Bees took on their local M3 rivals the Basingstoke Bison at The Hive in their last game before Christmas. The Bees were back at full strength as Josh Tetlow and Josh Smith returned from Great Britain U20’s duty whilst the visiting Bison only Alan Lack as Vanya Antonov also returned from GB duty. 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 Amy Lack & Justin Lalonde on the lines.
The early play was even with both sides creating early chances but it was the visitors who edged ahead after just under two minutes of the opening period with the first goal of the game scored by Derek Roehl assisted Stuart Mogg. Visibly lifted by the early marker the Bison kept up the pressure on the Bees defence and shortly after the pressure paid off as the visitors extended their lead to two goals after only five minutes, this time Rene Jarolin netting, past Alex Mettam in the Bees net, assisted by Kurt Reynolds. Despite the two goal deficit the Bees battled hard back into the game and a Martin Pavlicek close range effort forced Tomas Hiadlovsky, in the Bison net, to cover up for a face off, from which Matt Foord shot in on net but the puck deflected out of play. Bison forward and ex-Bee Matt Towalski picked up a two minute tripping penalty just after the ten minute maker, giving the home side Bees their first powerplay of the evening. With the extra man advantage the Bees piled forward and Alex Barker rang a shot off the Bison post but the Bison defensive unit managed to kill the penalty. A break from Rio Grinell-Parke saw him come close but Tomas Hiadlovsky poked the puck away at the last second. The Bees had a period of possession and kept the Bison camped in their own zone as David Gaborcik found Harvey Stead well but he fired just wide of the post. Bees player/coach Lukas Smital picked up the puck and fired in on net but the puck again skimmed wide of the post for the Bison to clear the puck to Ciaran Long who went down the left side and cut in to fire the puck past Alex Mettam for the Bison’s third goal, unassisted, with just under eighteen minutes of the first period played. No further chances came either side’s way and the home side Bees ended the period with a big task ahead of them.
The second period started in a chippy fashion with the home side securing the early possession and both Olegs Lascenko and Shaun Thompson coming close for the Bees. Unfortunately for the Bracknell side the Bison struck again as Ciaran Long scored the Hampshire sides’ fourth goal with just under twenty four minutes gone, assists going to Dan Davies and Stuart Mogg. Less than a minute later however things looked up a little for the Bees as the Bisons Declan Balmer headed to the penalty box for a slashing call, giving the Bees another powerplay. Alex Barker again came close but his chance was tipped wide of Hiadlovsky’s net. The Bees kept up the pressure however and it paid off with the Bees netting their first goal of the evening just before the end of the powerplay scored by Carl Thompson assisted Luka Basic & Matt Foord. The goal was contested as the Bison players were claiming it had not crossed the line but the Bees players were sure it had and were celebrating – referee Matt Thompson was on the spot and gave the goal. The Bees goal seemed to spur the Bison back into action as they pressed forward and applied more pressure, they created several chances and just after the halfway stage of the game they scored their fifth goal with Dan Davies finding the back of the net assisted Ciaran Long. The Bees dug deep and battled on with chances coming and going for Olegs Lascenko and Martin Pavlicek, but then Josh Tetlow took a trip to the penalty box on a slashing call just after thirty-four minutes and less than a minute later Lukas Smital joined him on a cross checking penalty. The Bees penalty kill unit dug in and did well to kill off both penalties. Alex Mettam kept the Bees in the contest with a double save to in the dying seconds of the period to keep the Bison at bay.
The home side Bees headed into the third period with a mountain to climb and two players down as Scott Spearing and Josh Smith had left the game late in the second period injured and took no further part in the game. Both teams were still creating chances at either end of the ice with Josh Tetlow firing in a blue line slapshot in which rebounded off Tomas Hiadlovsky’s shoulder, Alex Mettam was also busy with a glove save from Dan Lackey. The visiting Bison controlled possession and Ciaran Long tried a wraparound effort but Alex Mettam got his leg pad on the corner of the post to stop the puck. The Bisons Aaron Connolly picked up a hooking penalty just under the fifty minute mark, but the Hampshire sides’ defensive unit kill the penalty well limiting the Bees to shots from distance. Shortly after the penalty expired Bison new signing Joe Miller fired the puck in over Alex Mettam’s shoulder for the visitors’ sixth goal, assists going to Rene Jarolin and Aaron Connolly with just under eight minutes left of the period. Declan Balmer was handed a two plus ten penalty for checking to the head seven seconds after the Bisons sixth goal, but once again despite the Bees best efforts the penalty was killed off. The Bees netted their second goal of the evening as James Galazzi was found all alone in front of the net and tapped the puck home with just over five minutes left in the game. A scuffle in front of both benches saw Joe Rand pick up a two minute charging penalty for the visitors but again the Bison saw off the man advantage despite the Bees pressing forward. With just under two minutes remaining in the game Joe Miller put the result beyond doubt with his second goal of the evening, assists to Rene Jarolin and Aaron Connolly. In the dying seconds of the game Matt Towalski and Lukas Smital both collect two minute penalties for slashing and the Bees player coach also picked up a game misconduct. The sides played out the remaining minute of the game and both now head into the busy festive period ahead.
The man of the match awards went to Bees forward Carl Thompson for the home side and to Stuart Mogg for the visiting Bison.
Period scores: 0-3; 1-2; 1-2
Bees scorers: C.Thompson & Galazzi 1+0; Basic, Lascenko & Foord 0+1
Bison scorers: Long & Miller 2+1; Jarolin 1+2; Davies 1+1; Roehl 1+0; Mogg 0+3; Karpov & Connolly 0+2; Rounding 0+1
Bees PIMS: 26 (L.Smital 24; Tetlow 2)
Bison PIMS: 22 (Balmer 14; Towalski 4; Connolly & Rand 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 43 (12, 18, 13)
Shots on Bison (Hiadlovsky): 36 (8, 14, 14)