The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees took to the ice at The Hive for the first home league game of 2019 to take on fellow contenders Peterborough Phantoms in an AVSS School Zone game.
Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 3 Peterborough Phantoms 2 (after overtime)
Tim Pickett took charge of the game and Dean Skinns and Jordan Marr started in nets. Bees generated some early chances keeping Marr alert between the Phantoms pipes but the first five minutes passed scoreless.
As the game progressed Bees piled on the pressure keeping Marr the busier of the two goaltenders and with 14.50 elapsed Josh Martin opened the scoring the Bees with a sense of inevitability for 1-0.
The home team then successfully defended a penalty with Ryan Sutton sitting out a slashing penalty at 16.14 and the first period went on to end with just the Martin goal recorded on the scoresheet.
Both teams generated chances at the start of the second period, Bees retaining an edge but Phantoms also creating more clear-cut chances than they had in the first period. As the game passed halfway Peterborough levelled the match thanks to James Ferrara at 30.39 and while the travelling support still celebrated took the lead with Martin Susters netting at 30.51.
Bees killed off a penalty on Aidan Doughty at 31.31 and both teams generated chances through the second half of the period with some good saves from both netminders keeping the score at 1-2 heading off for the second interval.
A cross checking call on Ales Padelek gave the Bees their first powerplay of the game at 46.41 but Phantoms killed off the penalty. Later on it was Padelek looking to seal the game one on one with Dean Skinns but the Bees goaltender came up big to prevent the goal.
Looking to force their way back into the game Bees picked up a too many men call at 55.14 but killed the penalty and with 2.24 to play Phantoms took their time-out. At 57.45 a penalty to Ales Padelek gave Bees a powerplay boost and it was frenetic. Dean Skinns headed to the Bees bench for an extra attacker and the home team called their timeout with 83 seconds left in regulation time. A powerplay goal for the Bees levelled the game when Roman Malinik hit the post and Vanya Antonov buried the rebound at 59.03.
Overtime started 3 on 3 but a charging call on Phantoms Will Weldon gave Bees a 4 on 3 advantage which they used to work the Phantoms zone almost exclusively. It was a second after Weldon’s penalty expired, at 4 on 4, that Shaun Thompson sent the water bottle spinning as he buried a shot past Marr and into the goal to seal the win.
Bracknell: Thompson 1+1; Malinik 0+2; Antonov, Martin 1+0; VanKleef, Doughty 0+1. Net: Skinns (62.26) 23/2 & Empty Net (0.43) 0/0
Peterborough: J Ferrara, Susters 1+0; White, McEwen, Billing, Padelek 0+1. Net: Marr (63.09) 37/3
Period Scores: 1-0/0-2/1-0/1-0
Shots On Goal: 37-23
Penalty Minutes: 6-6
Referee: T Pickett. Linesmen: Carmichael & Kowal
Following from their home win the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees hit the road to take on Milton Keynes Thunder for their Sunday fixture.
Milton Keynes Thunder 2 Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 3
Jordan Lawday and Dean Skinns started in net and following a good showing by the home team in the first period they took the first interval in the lead. Stuart Mogg was first to score for the Bees at 15.32 but a powerplay goal from Hallden Barnes-Garner levelled the game at 17.09 and Alex Whyte then fired the Thunder into the lead at 19.49.
A clinical second period from the Bees tested the Thunder defence and shut down their offence. Only Jordan Lawday in net stopped the visitors running away with the game as he turned away 23 of the 25 shots he faced in the period while Dean Skinns faced just 2. With Tyler VanKleef picking up a 5+game for high sticks at 24.02 Vanya Antonov levelled the game shorthanded at 24.46 and Aidan Doughty won the game on the powerplay at 37.18.
The dominant Bees continued through the third period but this time Lawday shut the door on all 17 shots he faced while Skinns did the same with his 5. Despite the Thunder going to the final 40 seconds with an empty net they couldn’t find the goal they needed and the visitors left with full points.
Milton Keynes: Line 0+2; Whyte, Barnes-Garner 1+0; Randall 0+1. Net: Lawday (59.20) 53/3
Bracknell: Antonov, Mogg 1+1; Doughty 1+0; Watt, VanKleef, Knaggs 0+1. Net: Skinns (60.00) 16/2
Period Scores: 2-1/0-2/0-0
Shots On Goal: 16-53
Penalty Minutes: 10-27
Referee: Hands. Linesmen: Carmichael & Edwards
After the weekend Doug Sheppard recounted; “Saturday was a huge character win for us. The fight back we showed to earn 2 points we needed to get impressed me. On to Sunday we obviously had a bit of a hangover from the previous night’s win and we came out flat and were made to pay. MK got the jump on us but I thought we played a solid second and 3rd period to round up a nice 4 points weekend.”
The Bees return to action next Saturday at Basingstoke in a 6.30pm face-off ahead of Sunday’s home game against Raiders IHC at 6.00pm