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MATCH REPORT - Basingstoke Bison 5 Telford Tigers 1
THE Basingstoke Bison cruised to another home victory, as they proved too good for the Telford Tigers beating them 5-1 on Saturday night.
With defenceman Zach Sullivan away on Great Britain under-20 duty, recent signing forward Michael Wales moved to the back division.
The home side looked dangerous from the opening face-off, forcing their first save after just 22 seconds.
So it was no surprise when Tomas Karpov scored from close range, as he finished a move involving Joe Greener and young Brit Danny Ingoldsby, who collected his first ever point for the Bison.
This signalled the annual teddy bear toss as cuddly toys from every side of the rink were thrown onto the ice and Karpov celebrated his goal with a snow angel.
The Herd then made the most of their first powerplay of the night as Aaron Connolly got a touch on Joe Baird’s blue line shot, but man-of-the-match Doug Sheppard was credited with the goal.
A minute later, the Tigers hit penalty trouble again and this time a superb blue line strike from Miroslav Vantroba made it 3-0 at 10:05.
At this point, Telford called a time-out, but the home side remained in control and Joe Miller was unlucky not to add a fourth when fed by Joe Rand.
In the second session the visitors looked a lot more lively and they were helped by a couple of powerplays.
On the second of these leading goal scorer Nathan Salem pulled a goal back as he fired into the roof of the net at 26:20.
The Tigers then enjoyed a good spell as Michal Pavlu and then the very lively Timo Kuuluvainen tested Dean Skinns in the Bison net.
The home side then came back into the game and made it 4-1 from Miller. He somehow found a gap between the post and netminder to score after good build-up play from Greener and Sheppard.
Rand then forced a good save from Telford’s Sam Gospel after he had broke clear.
The goal of the game came at 39:28 as the outstanding Kurt Reynolds beat his man at the Bison blue line and skated down the right wing, before he sent over an inch perfect pass for Andy Melachrino to convert.
This gave the Bison a 5-1 advantage at the second break and the final 20 minutes was an even session, which saw Jaroslav Kruzik denied by a Skinns with a couple of nice blue line blasts, while man-of-the-match Kuuluvainen had a couple of good chances and probably deserved a goal.
The Herd went closest to adding to their tally from Miller, Karpov and Wales
As the game came to a close, Telford enforcer Owen Bennett was given a couple of shifts, and much to the delight of the home fans he was hammered into the boards by Ingoldsby and then sent crashing to the ice by Melachrino.