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REPORT - Basingstoke Bison 1 Bracknell Bees 0
DEAN Skinns recorded his third shut-out of the season, as the Basingstoke Bison enjoyed a 1-0 victory over their visiting local rivals the Bracknell Bees on Saturday night.
The Herd shot stopper turned away all 21 shots he faced in the game, as the visitors left once again empty handed from the Basingstoke Arena.
Both sides had to re-shuffle their lines due to injuries. The Herd were minus Joe Rand and Carl Graham, buit new signing Ciaran Long was in their line-up, while former Bison pair Chris Wiggins and Tony Redmond did not ice for the Bees.
In a hard fought local derby from the opening face-off, the Herd had the better of the opening face-off.
New boy Long looked lively and force the first chance of the game, while a nice interception by Brendan Baird, younger brother of Bison’s Joe Baird, denied Joe Miller a goal scoring opportunity.
Bison’s Males Wales then forced a save out of Alex Mettam, before a nice feed from Rob Lamey set-up Matt Foord at the far, but Skinns was equal to it.
The home side’s Stuart Mogg then nearly jammed the puck home at the near post and further chances fell to Doug Sheppard and Joe Greener, but the session ended 0-0.
The second period was more even as the Bees created more going forward and Ollie Bronnimann and Lukas Smital forced Skinns into saves.
The visitors were then given a golden opportunity to take the lead as Shaun Thompson led a three-on-one break, but despite having Smital and Bronnimann in support, he decided to go alone and fired into the chest of Skinns.
The first Bison powerplay of the session, saw the Herd grab what turned out to be the game winner at 28:31.
A lovely low shot from the blue line from Zach Sullivan was redirected by Joe Miller past Mettam.
The Bison then should have extended their lead soon after when given a two man advantage, but despite good pressure they were unable to find the net.
So going into the final 20 minutes it was still a one goal game and still a feisty affair which led to the first penalty as Bison’s Joe Greener took exception to a high hit on Tomas Karpov and exchanged a few words with the home bench which earned him a 10 misconduct penalty after being punched twice.
Bison’s man-of-the-match Kurt Reynolds went down after being hit in the face, by Ben Paynter and then Aaron Connolly crashed to the ice from a Smital hit, but no penalties were called.
Then to the displeasure of the home fans Reynolds took a very harsh slashing call and Chinn a non existence roughing penalty which he disputed and earned an extra 10 minutes in the sin bin.
This gave the Bees a two man advantage, but the home side penalty kill did its job with Skinns making the saves when needed.
As the game came to a close and with 61 seconds left, the Bees called a time-out and pulled their netminder, but were unable to grab the all important equaliser.
The sides face each other again tonight in Bracknell.