THE Basingstoke Bison returned to winning ways on home ice, as they beat the visiting Swindon Wildcats 3-2 on Saturday night.
Before the game started Bison defenceman Joe Baird was honoured for reaching 500 English Premier League game last Sunday at Sheffield, with a presentation and guard of honour.
The home side got off to a dream start, as they scored on their first powerplay of night from Aaron Connolly. This after Alex Symonds departed for hooking after just 44 seconds.
The Bison had the better of the rest of the first period, but Swindon equalised at 14:36, on a shorthanded play after Jonas Hoog fed Aaron Nell to score.
The home side were back in front early in the second period, as Swindon goalie Stevie Lyle lost the puck by one post and Tomas Karpov skated around the back of the net and put it in at the other one.
The Bison then piled on the pressure, but Lyle made up for his earlier error with a string of good saves.
The visitors once again levelled the game as Sam Bullas netted his own rebound on the powerplay at 30:41.
The Wildcats then though they had taken the lead from Henri Sandvik, but he his goal was disallowed due to the net being off its moorings.
Swindon then lost their top import Hoog, as he was dismissed for checking from behind on Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.
The home import had to be helped off the ice to the dressing room and did not return until the start of the final period.
By this time his side had hit penalty trouble, but the powerplays were killed off and there were few clear cut chances for either side.
The Bison scored what turned out to be the game winner at 54:30, as good spade work from Nicky Chinn, saw the puck hit the pads of Lyle and Joe Greener tapped in the rebound.
The home side continued to have the better of the play. Swindon were finally able to pull their netminder with 30 seconds left, but were unable to take the game into the overtime.
Tonight, the Bison travel to the Hive to face arch local rivals the Bracknell Bees.