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Basingstoke Bison suffer at the hands of the Sheffield Steeldogs
BASINGSTOKE Bison's player/coach Doug Sheppard was very disappointed man after his side's 10 game winning streak at home was ended as they lost 3-2 to the visiting Sheffield Steeldogs, as the Yorkshire side gave their fans a late Christmas present on Boxing Day.
The Herd boss said: "We were out worked and out played in our own rink which is unacceptable. We now have make sure we bounce back at Milton Keynes on Saturday."
Despite the defeat the Bison remain five points clear at the top of the English Premier League, but were given a wake-up call by a side who for once stayed out of the penalty box and in the process won the game.
Sheffield's new import Lubomir Korhon looked lively early on testing Bison's man-of-the-match Stevie Lyle.
The Herd also had their own chances and took the lead at 10:15 as Jaroslav Cesky skated away down the left wing drew the Steeldogs' netminder James Flavill before passing to James Smith to net his first Bison goal.
On Smith's next shift he nearly added a second, before Edgars Bebris and then Sheffield's man-of-the-match Ben Morgan on a late powerplay in the first period tested Lyle.
The visitors levelled the game just 27 seconds into the second period as Lloyd Gibson fired home with a low shot on the powerplay.
Soon after, Korhon so nearly set-up Andrew Hirst, but Kurt Reynolds cut out the pass and then Greg Chambers was caught in the face by Lewis Bell which saw him sit out most of the session as he received attentions to a nasty gash by his eye.
Joe Miller went close twice as he followed in rebounds from shots by Cameron Wynn and Greg Owen.
Then it was the turn of Bebris to test Lyle, before the biggest cheer of the night so far saw Tony Redmond check Andre Payette to the ice .
The only penalty of the second session saw Sheffield again scored on the powerplay as Pavel Gomeniuk scored with a low shot which flew just inside the post with Lyle unsighted at 38:18.
The Bison tried to tie the game before the break as Chambers deflected a Sheppard shot over and then Sheppard fired in seconds before the buzzer.
The final period saw Miller force a save, before Morgan forced his way to the net, but Lyle made the save.
Bison's Joe Rand then saw a shot sticked away by Flavill before Lyle produced a brilliant catch to deny Stuart Brittle from close range.
A tame hooking call on Redmond with five minutes left ran more time off the clock, but the Bison went on the powerplay after Owen was hauled down by Bebris.
The home fans rose to their feet as one - when Miller tied the game as fired in a rebound off the back board from Chambers at 57:31.
Sheffield player/coach Payette straight away called a time-out and whatever he said was brilliant as on the very next shift Bebris was allowed to skate off the side boards to fire home at 58:01.
With 44 seconds left Lyle departed for the extra skater, but the Bison was unable to force an equaliser and Sheffield got their reward for staying out of the sin bin with two points to take home to Yorkshire.
The Bison are nex in action at Milton Keynes on Saturday.