The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees headed to Streatham to kick off a tough weekend.
Streatham IHC 0 Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 1
Danny Milton got the start in net for the Bees with Damien King starting in the opposite goal and both netminders oversaw a scoreless first period.
Early in the second period Roman Malinik broke the deadlock as he finished from Vanya Antonov at 20.39 and by the end of the second period the score remained 0-1.
Bees killed no fewer than 4 penalties in the final period while holding on to their single goal lead and ran out winners thanks to the earlier Malinik goal and Danny Milton’s shut-out.
Streatham: Net: King (60.00) 41/1
Bracknell: Malinik 1+0; Antonov 0+1. Net: Milton (60.00) 35/0
Period Scores: 0-0/0-1/0-0
Shots On Goal: 35-41
Penalty Minutes: 4-12
Referee: Hewitt. Linesmen: Elliason & Carmichael
Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 2 Basingstoke Bison 0
The much anticipated local derby between the Bees and Bison finally came around and the 60 minutes wouldn’t disappoint. Stephen Matthews took charge of the game with Flynn Sitch-Cunningham and Andrew Strain on the lines.
Early chances came for the Bees and an interference penalty to Tom Ralph at 1.33 gave the home team the game’s first powerplay. Chances kept coming on the powerplay with Ryan Watt and Edward Knaggs also coming close.
The was a moment of worry for the Bison when Michal Klejna fell to the ice at 6.39 and remained there for some time. He made his own way off the ice after a few moments and Stuart Mogg made his way to the penalty box for a high stick penalty.
The Bison powerplay saw a couple of great saves in quick succession from Dean Skinns denying Ashley Tait and Richard Bordowski. Back at full strength, both teams generated chances with the best one coming for Roman Malinik but as he made his way in on net he was held back by Tom Ralph earning him a hooking minor at 12.08.
A good Bees powerplay saw many chances generated but just the finishing touch evaded them as Alex Mettam kept the net clear.
Bison’s George Norcliffe believed he’d scored and started celebrating only to see the hand of Dean Skinns flick the puck back before it crossed the goal line. Two subsequent chances from Adam Jones were met with equally good saves.
Hooking minors to Ben Paynter and Adam Jones saw a spell of 4 on 4 which neither team could take advantage of. As play continued Richard Bordowski was looking unsuccessfully for a rebound change and play stopped. After a lengthy delay and some discussions referee Stephen Matthews awarded the Bison bench n abuse of official minor at 18.44. The Bees powerplay only last six seconds before Aidan Doughty was called for roughing in a battle for the puck behind the net and the first period ended 4 on 4 with the game scoreless.
After both teams returned to full strength in quick succession early in the second period Alex Mettam came up big with two saves to deny the Bees. He couldn’t repeat the heroics though at 26.39 when Bees opened the scoring. After a scrappy start to the opening period with neither team really gaining dominance Roman Malinik won a face off in the Bison defensive zone and drew it back to Brendan Baird who shot in past Mettam to put the first goal on the board.
Bees worked hard to retain momentum but Bison were quick on the transition with Bees chances followed by sharp saves from Dean Skinns. A breakaway opportunity for Danny Ingoldsby was deflected wide by the Bees’ shot-stopper.
A blind back pass by David Milner was intercepted by the Bison but their attempt at a scoring chance was stopped by Milner racing back to break the play and feed the puck to James Galazzi who charged in an attempted a wrap around.
Edward Knaggs picked up a tripping penalty at 35.42 but a great chance came for Shaun Thompson on a shorthanded breakaway with the Bison goaltender also racing to the puck but Mettam got enough of the puck to deny the chance and get back to his net.
Joe Baird took an interference penalty at 39.21 which would carry over to the final period as the teams took the second interval with Bees ahead 1-0.
Bison looked intent on levelling with the powerplay in their favour but Dean Skinns had other ideas, first denying Adam Jones on the penalty kill and then Alex Sampford soon after the return to 5 on 5. Bison enjoyed a good start to the final period with Russell Cowley shooting too but Bees got the puck back and raced away. The home team created an excellent chance drawing Alex Mettam out from the top of his crease but, in the frenzy, the puck became lost in the mass of bodies and skates and play only stopped when the whistle blew to call a roughing penalty on Liam Morris at 47.11.
Bees attempts on the powerplay were frustrated by Alex Mettam but with 11 seconds left in the powerplay Edward Knaggs got one past the Bison goaltender but it hit the top netting of the goal.
Bees were back on the powerplay again at 50.48 after forcing a broken play and Alex Mettam saving David Milner’s shot then Josh Martin got the next shot off but nobody made the tip in front however under pressure George Norcliffe picked up a slashing penalty.
Edward Knaggs was called at 52.44 for tripping giving the Bison 1.56 of powerplay but the visitors still couldn’t level.
The game got more frantic as the end came nearer and with 77 seconds remaining Alex Mettam forced a Brendan Baird shot out of play and with the stoppage came the Bison timeout. With face-off in their defensive zone Bison were forced to restart with Mettam still between the pipes but as the final minute came round and Bison cleared their zone Mettam headed off for the extra skater.
Joe Baird took an interference penalty at 59.07 offering Bison a 6 on 4 opportunity. Bison won the draw and had control of the puck but the instant they lost control the game was effectively over as quick passing from Antonov to Mogg to Malinik allowed Malinik a short-handed, unobstructed shot on the empty net from his own zone which hit the middle of the back of the net with 36 seconds to play.
A coming together in front of the penalty boxes saw Bees Josh Martin and Bison Michal Klejna both sit 2+10 roughing penalties at 59.42 but the game didn’t finish with that. 10 seconds later there was another scrap as a boarding call against Adam Jones was added to by double fighting minors for both him and James Galazzi with Ryan Watt also collecting a 10 minute misconduct.
With order returned the final face-off of the game happened and the eight seconds ticked away with Bees collecting the win and Dean Skinns posting a shut-out.
Bracknell: Malinik 1+1; B Baird 1+0; Mogg, Antonov 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.00) 23/1
Basingstoke: Net: Mettam (59.33) 27/1 & Empty Net (0.27) 1/1
Period Scores: 0-0/1-0/1-0
Shots On Goal: 28-23
Penalty Minutes: 40-40
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: F Sitch-Cunningham & A Strain
Following back to back shut-out wins Bees Coach Doug Sheppard reflected; “It was a great weekend for us, no goals conceded in either game and that’s what it’s going to take to win the low scoring, tight games.
“We had great commitment from the guys all weekend along and it was great to see David fitting in so well. I think we have lots of positives to take out of this weekend and carry into our single game next weekend.”
Photographs: Kevin Slyfield Photography