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Basingstoke Bison win in Guildford at last
DOUG Sheppard scored the game winning penalty shot as the Basingstoke Bison won for the first time in 10 attempts in Guildford.
In a super game between these local rivals the teams were still locked together after overtime at 4-4.
The game to decided by a shoot-out and the tension grew with every one that was taken.
Joe Rand gave the Bison an early lead with the opening shot thanks to a crisp finish, but in the best of three shoot-out, Jozef Kohut found a way past man-of-the-match Dean Skinns to level it.
Moving into sudden death, both Tim Burrows and Guildford’s Tom Duggan were denied, as were Bison’s Joe Greener and Bratislav Kvetan.
Sheppard sent the visiting fans ecstatic as he scored past Mark Lee and now all eyes were Dean Skinns and the former Guildford goalie made sure of the victory as he saved David Savage’s effort.
Earlier in the contest, Kohut had Guildford in front in the third minute with a lovely close range finish.
The Herd then looked to be in trouble as Aaron Connolly departed to the sin bin, but Joe Greener broke away to score shorthanded and make it 1-1.
The home side kept up the pressure with their powerful offence and re-took the lead as Rick Plant fired home from Paul Dixon’s pass at 17:02.
The Flames' all-Brit line then added a third goal early in the second session as Ben Campbell forced his way to the net to score.
However, exactly a minute later Joe Rand made the most of good work from Burrows and Andy Melachrino to score.
The Bison were now looking for an equaliser as Tomas Karpov and Greener went close, while Curtis Huppe looked to increase the home side’s lead.
The first penalty of the final period gave the Bison a poweplay and they made no mistake as Greener scored from close in.
The game was then turned on its head as Andy Melachrino’s great solo strike 21 seconds later gave the visitors the lead.
This time it was Guildford’s turn to hit back and good spade work from Kohut saw Guildford man-of-the-match Plant net his second of the evening.
With 12 minutes there was still plenty time for either side to score and Skinns was the busier goalie, but the Flames could not find a way through.
The Bison also went looking for a winner as Sheppard and Karpov tested Lee.
With no more scoring and the tension building the game went into five minutes of overtime and once again the goalies stood tall, taking the match into a shoot-out.
The Herd’s player/coach Sheppard said: “This is our best win of the season so far as Guildford are one of the top teams and it makes up for the disappointment after Saturday’s loss to them.”