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Basingstoke Bison 4 Manchester Phoenix 2
THE Basingstoke Bison were worthy 4-2 winners over league leaders Manchester Phoenix on Saturday night.
The visitors with just one loss in their first 10 games, were unable to handle the Herd in full flow for the final two periods and in the end were lucky to loss by just two goals.
However, it was Phoenix who scored first, thanks to sweet interchange of passes between James Archer and Tony Hand which set-up Michal Psurny to fire home at 3:59.
The first powerplay of the night for the Bison saw them level, as Aaron Connolly netted from close range, but Manchester made sure they led at the break as Hand converted at the back post at 17:47.
In the final minute of first period, a rocket shot from Robin Kovar came off the shoulder and face cage of Dean Skinns sending the goalie crashing to the ice.
It looked like his game was over, but after some medical attention the goalie carried on and was not beaten for the rest of the evening.
The second session saw the home side really dominate as the 17-4 shot count revealed.
The Bison looked especially good on the powerplay and somehow Steve Fone managed to limit them to just one goal.
This was scored by man-of-the-match Miroslav Vantroba, thanks to a crisp blue line shot.
The first penalty of the final period, saw the Herd deservedly take the lead as Joe Rand scored from close range at 42:22.
Soon after the Phoenix were given their own man advantage and despite having all three import forwards on the ice, they were unable to find a way past Skinns.
Then with eight minutes left, Zach Sullivan with his first goal of the season made it 4-2 as he fired in from blue line.
Manchester tried to get themselves back into the contest, but solid defence saw them unable to carve out any decent chances and it was Bison’s Tomas Karpov who came closest to adding a fifth.
The Bison travel to Bracknell tonight and there will be live updates on this game on this website.
Also remember to pick up a copy of this week's Thursday’s Gazette which has an eight page 25th anniversary special on the Basingstoke Bison.