Basingstoke Bison 5 - Manchester Phoenix 2

Sunday, 13th November 2016

Phoenix made the long trip down to Basingstoke for the first time this season to take on an in form EPL Champions side.

The first period was a backs to the wall job for Phoenix as Basingstoke dominated the early exchanges. Stephen Fone in the away net was having one of his best periods of the season as wave after wave of Bison pressure fell on Phoenix. However, there was nothing he could do on 14.23 when young star Ivan Antonov was alone in front of the net as it came from Toms Karpov on the back boards. The period ended with no further scoring mainly thanks to Fone’s efforts between the pipes.

The second was pretty much a replay although Phoenix were finding their feet, creating a few chances without really troubling Hiadlovsky in the Bison net. The home side doubled their lead on 33.02 with Phoenix sitting out a bench penalty for too many imports on the ice. Strangely not seen by the referee or linos until Ciaran Long brought it to their attention. Declan Balmer was the scorer assisted again by Tomas Karpov.  It was not long before Bison scored again, this time Karpov the scorer assisted by Jan Jarabek and Tomas Hiadlovsky. Greg Pick and Declan Balmer had been chipping at each other for most of the game and it was finally settled on 35.55 when both dropped the gloves at centre ice. Pick settled early into the fight and got a couple of good hits with Balmer swinging wildly then a lovely right hand rocked the Bison youngster and that was enough for him and the fight was ended.  End of two periods and Bison 3-0 up.

Having been outshot for two periods, Phoenix came more into the game and posed much better threat to the Bison defence. Bison soaked up the pressure and scored two quick goals on 44.23 and 45.22 through Karpov and Derek Roehl to make it 5-0. Bison took their foot off the gas and Phoenix, playing for pride and the intrepid 14 fans who made the trip, took what was left of the game to Bison. Reward was theirs on 48.39 when great work by Roman Malinik behind the net found Gareth O’Flaherty alone in front of the crease and Phoenix were on the score sheet. Phoenix scored a second with 54.26 on the clock when Joni Tuominen blasted the puck past Hiadlovsky from just inside the blue line. Assists went to Marek Indra and Vaclav Meidl. That was it for the scoring and Bison took the points with a 5-2 win. The beers went to James Neil for Phoeinix and Tomas Karpov for Bison

Phoenix are at home on Sunday 13th November against the Milton Keynes Lightning with a 1700hrs face off