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MATCH REPORT - Basingstoke Bison 5 Sheffield Steeldogs 4
THE Basingstoke Bison kept their fans on their edge of their seats, before beating the visiting Sheffield Steeldogs 5-4 after a penalty shoot-out on Sunday night.
Joe Miller in his final home game for the Herd converted the only penalty shot in the shoot-out, to make sure the home side completed a great comeback and a deserved victory.
It did not start well for the home side, as Sheffield scored with their first shot of the game.
Steeldogs best player on the night, Lubomir Korhon fired in from the right wing after 63 seconds.
The visitors then doubled their advantage, as former Bison man Greg Chambers found an unmarked Andrew Hirst close in to make it 2-0.
The Herd already minus Joe Rand and defenceman Kurt Reynolds saw their defence reduced even further when Miroslav Vantroba was dismissed after disputing a penalty call.
This followed a breakaway by Korhon, after the Slovak defenceman have broken his stick when shooting from the blue line.
Vantroba managed to skate back with Steeldog forward and without a stick, hip checked the forward, but referee Dave Cloutman decided it was tripping, which incensed the mild mannered player and the referee who normally talks to players, just dismissed on the spot.
The versatile Michael Wales moved from forward and defence and the Herd hauled themselves back into the contest, as Aaron Connolly fired home at 16:27.
The second session, saw Sheffield restore their two goal advantage as Lee Haywood netted from the blue line.
Stuart Mogg then picked up his first point of the season, after a great rush and lovely weighted pass, which Andy Melachrino hammered home at 26:17.
The home side were now in control of the game, but were unable to find a way past Dalibor Sedlar in the Sheffield net.
The Steeldogs’ penalty king Andre Payette, finally went to the sin bin early in the final period, and the Herd took just four seconds to convert the powerplay, as Joe Greener scored from the blue line.
However, two minutes later, just a penalty on Nicky Chinn expired, Ben Morgan scored from the blue line to make it 4-3.
The Bison were then given another powerplay, when Chambers came off the bench during an icing call against his team, and was penalised for an icing infringement.
Once again the home side made the most of the penalty, as Ciaran Long re-directed a Greener shot into the roof of the net, much to delight of the home fans at 52:26.
The Bison then went all out for the win, but the puck just would not go in the net.
So the game went into overtime and Miller somehow missed the target after a great combination of passes between Zach Sullivan and Doug Sheppard.
With no further scoring the game was decided on a shoot-out with Sheffield’s man-of-the-match Korhon the first to shoot, but his shot was saved by Dean Skinns.
The Bison’s Long was then denied, as were Steeldogs’ Greg Wood and the Herd’s Tomas Karpov.
Chambers then stepped onto ice, but Skinns sticked away his effort, which meant that if Miller scored the Herd would win.
The forward skated up the ice and slotted under Sedlar and the home crowd jumped to their feet to celebrate a great comeback victory.
The Bison are next in action on New Years Day when they travel to Guildford.