THE Basingstoke Bison served up another thriller on Saturday night, even if they led 4-0 after the first period, as they overcame the visiting Sheffield Steeldogs in the end 6-5.
The home side welcomed back Kurt Reynolds from injury, but Danny Ingoldsby was still sidelined and they came out the blocks flying.
Hat-trick hero last week, Tomas Karpov opened the scoring after just 32 seconds, and a slash by Sheffield’s Andre Payette seconds into his first shift gave the Herd a powerplay in the opening two minutes.
They failed to score with this man advantage, but did with their next powerplay thanks to Ciaran Long’s blue line blast at 3:42.
The home side continued to dominate and great spade work form Michael Wales set-up Karpov to fire inside the post to make it 3-0.
Some rare Sheffield chances saw Lubomir Korhon’s shot hit the pads of home goalie Dean Skinns and shave the outside of the post and then the impressive Andrew Hirst fired just wide.
Bison’s man-of-the-match Joe Greener completed the first period scoring with a nice wrist shot at 16:02.
The second session started with Payette in the sin bin for 10 minutes after he tried to start a fight on the first period buzzer.
The visitors got themselves back into the contest as Lee Haywood and Hirst tested Skinns.
The home side had a few chances, before Payette with some good work behind the net set-up Haywood, but Skinns made a smart save.
The Bison then went close from Joe Rand, but Dalibor Sedlar was now in impressed form and his saved. This led to a breakaway and Sheffield’s leading scorer Korhon slotted home.
The home side were still unable to find a way past Sedlar and the visitors once again picked up the pieces with Ashley Calvert getting their second to make it 4-2.
Sheffield got themselves right back into the contest, as their man-of-the-match Hirst scored from close range and they thought they had equalised a minute later, but it was disallowed as the rush to the net had taken it off.
With nine minutes left, referee Stefan Hogarth left the game having been cut by a skate on his hand, so Matt Thompson took over as the lone referee.
Joe Greener with a simple flick by the post made it 5-3 and then the teams play four-on-four hockey after Wales and Hirst were sent to the sin bin for roughing.
During this, the Bison extend their lead further thanks to a Joe Rand strike, only for Edgars Bebris to reply just over a minute later to make it 6-4.
As the game entered its final two minutes, Rand took a penalty and Sheffield scored in five seconds, as a slide rule pass from Greg Chambers, was hammered home by Korhon.
In the melee after the goal, Duncombe received a cross checking penalty and is not amused and earned a 10 minute misconduct to go with it.
Despite the Bison being on the powerplay, the visitors pulled their goalie. Bison’s Long and Andy Melachrino just fail to hit the empty net, as Sheffield found it hard to carve out any goal scoring opportunities.
Tonight, the Bison travel to Peterborough looking to make it three wins on the trot.