THE Basingstoke Bison bounced back from a 6-2 loss at Milton Keynes last Saturday to beat the Bristol Pitbulls 5-3 on home ice 24 hours later, writes Graham Merry.

Sunday night’s encounter in Basingstoke saw the Herd edge an even first period 1-0.

This was thanks to Hallam Wilson as he tapped in at the back post in the 13th minute.

The second session saw the home side double their lead as Marcel Balaz netted after a great rush down the right wing from George Norcliffe.

The visitors replied three minutes later, as Mason Lipsey was found unmarked in the slot and he fired home.

The Bison restored their two goal lead by the break, as Gael Lubwele netted at the back post from a nice pass from Aidan Doughty, his second of four assists on the night.

In the final minute of the session tempers boiled over which saw Lubwele and Tom Ralph exchange blows with the Bison man getting the take down. This earned both players a five minute penalty for fighting.

The Pitbulls had a super start to the final period as within four minutes they had tied the game 3-3, with two goals.

Their first came after 66 seconds as Owen Sobchak scored from close range.

Two tame penalties on the Bison followed and Bristol made the most of the two man advantage as Reece Kelly blasted home from the blue line.

The Pitbulls at that point may have been sniffing a win, but the Herd had other ideas and a pass from Doughty from the corner saw Milton in the centre slot home.

The home side then gave themselves some breathing space as Lubwele rifled home a great powerplay strike to complete the 5-3 win.

Another super performance on defence from Liam Morris earned him the Herd’s man of the match.

The previous night in MK, the Bison were 2-0 down at the first break after Rio Grinell-Parke and Callum Field scored.

A shorthanded strike from Liam Stewart extended the lead to three, before two fights happened at the same time.

Bobby Chamberlain and Bison’s Morris paired off along with Sam Talbot and the Herd’s Edgars Landsbergs which earned all four five minutes fighting penalties.

Stewart extended the lead to four, before Bison man of the match Norcliffe opened the visitors account at 36:25.

MK’s Man of the match Stewart then completed a second period hat-trick to make it 5-1 at the buzzer.

The final period saw another fight between the Bison’s Jay King and Mack Stewart which saw both get five minute penalties.

The sides then swapped goals as Tim Wallace scored for MK and Balaz for the Bison as it finished 6-2.

Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “I was looking for a reaction after the loss in MK and I felt I got that against Bristol which was good to see.”

This weekend, the Bison have a double header against the Leeds Knights.

The first game is in Hampshire on Saturday (6.30pm) and the return is in Yorkshire on Sunday (6.30pm).

The Knights have so far won all seven of their league games this season.

Speaking about a tough looking weekend Tait said: “It does not surprise me how well Leeds has started, but we look forward to facing them and using it as a bench mark as to where we are in this league.”