REPORT - Basingstoke Bison 2 Milton Keynes Lightning 3

Basingstoke Gazette: A guard of honour for Michael Wales A guard of honour for Michael Wales

BASINGSTOKE Bison forward Michael Wales celebrated his 500th English Premier League game against the Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday evening.

However, it was the visitors, one of his former teams, who smiling by the end of the game thanks to a 3-2 victory.

The home side minus forward Andy Melachrino faced a MK outfit with just eight forwards as Ross Bowers was injured.

This meant they iced one of their top forwards on their third line, which strengthen it up.

They also played an excellent of man-to-man coverage which allowed the Bison’s not freedom around the MK goal.

In a tight contest from start to finish, the visitors scored the only goal of the first period, after good pressure told and Lewis Christie was able to fire home at 10:45.

MK had a great chance to extend their lead with an odd man rush, but Adam Carr was unable to find Leigh Jamieson with his pass as Zach Sullivan sticked the puck away.

Early in the second session, the impressive Jordan Cownie had a breakaway chance, but Dean Skinns denied him.

MK did increase their lead on another odd man rush, as this time Stanislav Lascek found Carr to convert at 26 minutes exactly.

The Herd got themselves back into the contest thanks, to a super solo goal from their man-of-the-match Tomas Karpov.

The Czech forward was set free by Kurt Reynolds and having seen his first shot on the back hand saved, he buried the rebound at 36:43.

MK started the final period on the powerplay, after Joe Greener took charging penalty right on the second session buzzer.

The visitors made the most of the extra man, as a cross ice pass went over the stick of Bison’s Joe Rand and allowed Lukas Zatopek to fire the puck on net.

Skinns padded it away, but Grant McPherson reacted first to the rebound to score.

The Herd were then given a couple of powerplays to get themselves back in the contest, but it Lascek who came closest to scoring shorthanded.

With just under five minutes left, Aaron Connolly fought his way to the net to score and the Herd then went all out for the equaliser.

With 33 seconds left, the home side pulled their netminder, but could not force the game into overtime.

Tonight, the Bison have a tough trip to Sheffield, where they face a Steeldogs outfit who beat the league leaders Manchester 4-2 last night.

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