The penultimate weekend of the regular season saw the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees drawn against the Basingstoke Bison in a home and away series.
Basingstoke Bison 4 Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 3 (after penalty shots)
Bees went into the weekend still waiting on the return of Joe and Brendan Baird but did welcome back Josh Martin to the lineup. It was Josh Smith who netted the first strike at 9.38 with a powerplay goal being the only goal of the first period.
Josh Martin doubled up the visitors lead at 25.30 but the Bees lead was eroded by the end of the middle period thanks to strikes from Michal Klejna with a powerplay goal at 32.01, Adam Harding at 36.54 and the go-ahead goal from Danny Ingoldsby at 37.58.
With the third period in full flow Tyler VanKleef tied the game up at 48.21 but while Bees outshot their opponents 9-3 in the period VanKleef’s was the only goal forcing the game to overtime.
With no scoring through the extra 5 minutes the game headed to penalties. Bison elected to shoot first and Klejna scored the first shot ahead of Shaun Thompson, Russell Cowley, Tyler VanKleef and Ashley Tait all saved. Josh Smith scored on the third Bees penalty to tie the shoot-out. Smith took the next shot and along with Klejna and Malinik was denied before Cowley put one wide. Vankleef scored and Tait scored to keep the contest alive before a VanKleef miss off the posts was followed a Tait goal to win the contest.
Basingstoke: Jones 0+3; Klejna 1+1; Harding, Ingoldsby, GWP 1+0. Net: Mettam (65.00) 27/3
Bracknell: Martin 1+1; Thompson 0+2; Smith, VanKleef 1+0; Mogg 0+1. Net: Skinns (65.00) 21/4
Period Scores: 0-1/3-1/0-1/0-0/1-0
Shots On Goal: 21-27
Penalty Minutes: 42-20
Referee: S Matthews. Linesmen: N Strain & A Cook
The following evening the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees returned to the Hive for the second of the week’s Bison matches.
Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees 4 Basingstoke Bison 5 (after overtime)
Back on home ice the Bees welcomed back the Baird brothers with Vanya Antonov missing due to travel delays from GB Universities duty and Ryan Watt continuing to serve his suspension.
Zack Milton opened the Bees account at 8.15 with a powerplay goal, Roman Malinik created himself a chance which Alex Mettam saved but with nobody to clear the puck it fell for Milton to finish. Bison strung together a good play to control a scrappy period of the game and Alex Sampford equalised at 10.06. With just 35 seconds left in the first period Adam Harding scored a powerplay goal to give Basingstoke a lead to take into the interval.
Bees equalised through Tyler VanKleef at 25.40 only to see Adam Harding’s second, at 31.32 put the Bison back ahead. This lead lasted less than a minute though as VanKleef scored his second at 32.13 to level the game at 3-3.
Aidan Doughty scored at 43.41 to put the Bees ahead and they pressed hard for a fifth goal and tensions grew in the game. A boarding incident with 2.07 to play saw George Norcliffe receive 2+10 along with a 10 minute misconduct to Tom Ralph and a game for abuse of official. Klejna’s reaction also saw him take a 10 minute misconduct while Bees Joe Baird also served a misconduct penalty. It was however while shorthanded, and with an empty net, that the Bison found the tieing goal through Russell Cowley with 42 seconds left in regulation time.
89 seconds into overtime, despite a promising start to the extra period for the Bees, the Bison won the game through Adam Harding. After a brilliant stop by Danny Milton nobody managed to clear the puck leaving Harding a chance with the rebound.
Bracknell: Spearing 0+3; VanKleef 2+0; Doughty, Z Milton 1+0; Thompson, Malinik, Martin, Mogg 0+1. Net: D Milton (61.29) 27/5
Basingstoke: Harding 3+3; Sampford, Cowley 1+1; Tait 0+2; Ralph, Klejna, King 0+1. Net: Mettam (61.14) 33/4 & Empty Net (0.15) 0/0
Period Scores: 1-2/2-1/1-1/0-1
Shots On Goal: 33/27
Penalty Minutes: 30-88
Referee: P Brookes. Linesmen: Strain & Olszac
After the weekend a disappointed Doug Sheppard shared his thoughts; “It’s all about the basics. We have to be playing smart and playing for the full 60 minutes and it’s a lesson we’re still learning at the wrong end of the season. We have to take the positives forward from this weekend if we are to be successful this season while focussing on getting the basics right every shift.”