THE Basingstoke Bison moved to league summit for the first time this season after a 1-0 overtime win over the Milton Keynes Thunder.

Dan Davies was the Herd’s hero with the winner 14 seconds into the extra session, while goalie Dean Skinns recorded his 12th Bison shut-out turning away all 17 shots he faced.

His brother Ashley Skinns was the Herd’s bench coach for the encounter, with Bison head coach Doug Sheppard away in Canada.

The visitors deserved their point from the contest, as they made it really difficult for the new leaders all night.

They stuck to their game plan of getting bodies and sticks in front of the net, which meant the Bison found it hard to carve out any clear cut opportunities.

Even when they did Thunder man of the match Tom Annetts was equal to everything in regulation time making 35 saves.

The Herd welcomed back Ivan Antonov for this clash, but were still without Josh Smith and Joe Baird.

After an even start, an awful hit by MK’s Lewis Christie on Aaron Connolly in the sixth minute, went unpunished by referee Blaine Evans, but not by Connolly’s team mate Dan Scott, who grabbed the player and punched him.

With the home fans expecting a roughing call for the Bison defenceman, instead he was given a 2+10 for checking from behind, which reduced the Herd D core to three.

The home side survived the penalty and even went close from Antonov shorthanded.

They were then given their own man advantage and this time Skinns had to look lively to deny MK’s top forward on the night Tom Carlon with a poke check.

The Bison came so close to opening the scoring, when Roman Malinik was allowed to skate in from the left wing and his shot came off the crossbar.

Soon after, Stuart Mogg ended up in a heap in the corner after a check from Harrison Goode and needed treatment. A chorus of boos rang out around the arena when no penalty was called on the MK player.

As the period came to a close some slack defending allowed first Carlon and then Ryan Handisides to have chances, but Skinns came up with two great saves.

Then with seven seconds left in the period, Bison man of the match Hallam Wilson was denied by the outstretched pad of Annetts.

The second session saw some continued Bison pressure, but to a man MK stuck to their task and battled away leaving few decent chances.

The nearest they came was when the impressive Ryan Sutton pinged the crossbar again after skating down centre ice.

For the start of the final period, the home side switched around their forward lines and their best move was when Malinik fed Davies, but Annetts was equal to his effort.

At the other end, Carlon was the major offensive threat, but neither side were able to score after 60 minutes.

So the game went into overtime and with only three skaters on the ice, you always felt the extra space would benefit the home side.

This proved to be the case, as MK’s Rupert Quiney gave up the puck to Malinik, he fed Davies.

The Bison forward for the first time in the game had time and space, and made the most of it hitting the back of the net.

The Herd have no game this evening, but the Buffalo, who include a number of Bison players are in action, as they take on the Bracknell Hornets. Face-off is 6.30pm.

Next for the Bison is a visit from the Bracknell Bees on Saturday (6.30pm).