Weekend review – pushed to the limit but another win

The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees had only one game in the weekend and skated out at the Hive with fresh legs to take on Streatham IHC.

Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 3 Streatham IHC 2

Blaine Evans took charge of the game with Flynn Sytch-Cunningham and Nathan Straine on the lines.

Bees generated a couple of early chances before Andreas Siagris skated in and shot at the Bees goal but hit the side of the net. James Galazzi’s wrist shot saw a classic save from Damien King before Josh Smith’s shot took a deflection high and out of play. Ryan Webb was in a good position in front of Dean Skinns but lost the puck in his feet, by the time he regained control he managed a back hand shot which Skinns saved confidently.

The next few minutes saw a lot of end to end skating but few clear chances generated by either team. Stuart Mogg broke that as he got his stick down in the passing lane and quickly regained his feet to pass to Ryan Sutton but his effort was defeated by King.

Soon after Bees generated a sustained period of pressure which the visitors just couldn’t break. Eventually, they cleared their zone but quickly the Bees regrouped and Ryan Sutton forced another save from King.

With Bees advancing a neat drop pass from Zack Milton was overskated by Josh Smith which allowed Alex Roberts to break at speed and he came closest to scoring the game’s first goal when he hit the left post before Dean Skinns covered the rebound.

For the next few moments the visitors did a good job of trapping the play in the neutral zone but nearing the final minute of the opening period Shaun Thompson muscled into position before another save from King drew a whistle. The remaining 68 seconds of the first period passed by with no scoring meaning a 0-0 scoreboard after 20 minutes.

Streatham iced the puck early in the second conceding a face off in their own end. Bees won the draw and Brendan Baird shot in. Soon after Joe Baird found Josh Martin who skated in and cut in front of the net but somehow Damien King managed to squeeze the puck between his legs to stop what looked for certain to be the game’s first goal.

Vanya Antonov bagged himself a couple of chances around the 25 minute mark. Shortly after Edward Knaggs forced a turnover and flicked the puck over to Josh Martin who evaded pressure from Streatham’s defence but found his intended pass intercepted.

Alex Roberts dangled in and tried to poke the puck through Skinns defence but with no result however off the resulting face off the game’s first goal came. Streatham won the draw and Michael Farn shot in, Skinns made a pad save but the puck rebounded directly to Adam Carr who opened the scoring at 27.46.

Bees won the centre ice face off and tested Damien King but the whistle blew for off side after King had made the save. James Galazzi’s stretch pass for Josh Martin was just out of reach and then a shot from just outside the zone from Harvey Stead drew a stick save from King.

Chances followed at both ends for Michael Farn and Harvey Stead as the game passed its midway point. Zack Milton fed the puck to the front of the net for Ben Paynter but a King poke check stopped the pass reaching its intended target. Bees pressure finally resulted in Streatham icing the puck at 33.14 after two successive chances for Josh Smith. The pressure didn’t relent though as Joe Baird fired in with Shaun Thompson looking to deflect but while the deflection went wide, Thompson chased the puck but couldn’t get his stick free from the Streatham defenceman allowing the puck to trickle away and be cleared.

Bees still kept their presence in the zone and a James Galazzi shot saw King make a save with Galazzi racing to the net to make a save. Rupert Quiney became involved with both players pushing and shoving but no penalties were called on the play. Pressure almost told when Harvey Stead found a completely open a Ben Paynter and a great save from King saw the Streatham netminder end up way out of position but despite the puck sitting tantalisingly free none of the Bees could get to it to finish into the open net.

As the final minute of the second period came round Aidan Doughty shot in and King just got enough of the shot to deflect it skimming across the roof of the net. Bracknell ended the second period on the power play as Stuart Mogg was taken out by the hash marks leading to a tripping penalty for James Warman.

An early short handed chance from Jacob Ranson started the third period but a pad save from Dean Skinns stopped any damage being done. Streatham killed the penalty.

Ryan Sutton let off a back hand shot but still King couldn’t be beaten. Moments later Dean Skinns lost his stick batting away a loose puck floating above his net.

A great period of pressure from Bees ended when Damien King froze a shot from Harvey Stead. It wasn’t long though before Stead levelled the game with Ben Paynter flicking a pass towards Harvey Stead as he finished past King at 44.53 for parity.

Antonov raced away with speed but a defenceman’s stick deflected the shot into the ceiling and out of play.

At 50.07 Bees took the lead when a period of pressure by the home team saw Josh Smith pass out from behind the net to the waiting Shaun Thompson who buried his chance mid height glove side past King for 2-1.

Harvey Stead took a charging penalty at 52.33 after two good saves from Skinns. On the resulting power play Streatham equalised with bodies at the net seeing, eventually, Rupert Quiney getting a stick on a rebound and scoring a powerplay goal at 53.17

A great save from Dean Skinns denied a blue line shot from Michael Farn and he quickly smothered the rebound too.

Bees scored the game winning goal with 48 seconds to play when Ryan Sutton carried the puck in behind the net before feeding back to the trailing man and Josh Smith lit the goal light. As the Hive celebrated the goal Streatham called their timeout.

The Bees closed down the final 48 seconds to claim their third successive league win.

Bracknell: Smith 1+1; Thompson, Stead 1+0; Paynter, Sutton, Antonov 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.00) 22/2
Streatham: Carr 1+1; Quiney 1+0; Farn, Roberts 0+1. Net: King (60.00) 40/3

Period Scores: 0-0/0-1/3-1
Shots On Goal: 40-22
Penalty Minutes: 2-2
Referee: B Evans. Linesmen: F Sytch-Cunningham & N Straine
Gamesheet: http://eihams.fixtureslive.com/matchSheet.aspx?fixtureid=2135281

Doug Sheppard spoke after the game; “We have got to come out and play for a full 60 minutes. We don’t have the kind of team that can wait around. We got away with it tonight but we have to put in three good periods every night.

He continued; “Tonight was another test of character for us but once again we came away with the important two points against a team that proves there’ll be no easy games this season. What’s important is we proved we will battle until the final buzzer and make sure teams know we’re up for the challenge every weekend.”