THE Basingstoke Buffalo enjoyed a double winning weekend over last year’s play-off champions the Invicta Mustangs, thanks to a 4-1 victory on home ice and a 5-4 success in Kent.

On Sunday night in Basingstoke, a close opening session was edged by the home side 1-0 after Alex Sampford’s strike from close range.

In the second period, the Buffs extended their lead from a lovely breakout, as Harry Harcup released Hallam Wilson and he fired the puck through the legs of the visiting goalie.

Another great move saw the Herd make it 3-0, as this time Tom Banner’s pass was converted by Wilson.

At the other end of the rink, Buffalo man of the match Morgan Parsons was in fine form with a number of great saves.

However, he had no chance with the only Invicta goal. This came after a wicked deflection, saw the puck bounce to the back post where Aaron Feris roofed it into the top of the net.

The home side hit back as Xander Robinson found Cam Buckle and he ripped the puck in from the right corner to make it 4-1 at the second interval.

The final 20 minutes saw both teams have their chances, but the netminders stood tall and no further goals were scored.

The previous night in Kent, McKenzie Parsons scored his first goal of the season, which turned out to be the only one of the opening session.

Invicta equalised 48 seconds into the second period from Edward Gibson, but Buffalo’s man of the match Paul Petts restored their lead.

Once again the home side levelled things up thanks to Tom Mallett, but then three unanswered goals had the Herd 5-2 up at the second break.

Petts netted the first followed by a Harry Harcup brace, the first came with assists from Wilson his fourth of the night and netminder Morgan Parsons and other had helpers from Cam Buckle and Kristian Nicholson. For both Parsons and Nicholson it was their first points of the season.

The final period saw Invicta haul themselves back into the contest with goals from Keiran Wyatt and Aaron Feris, but it was not enough as the Buffalo held on to win 5-4.

After the weekend games, Buffalo netminder Dan Weller-Evans said: “It was a great way to start 2024 with two wins and the boys played really well and deserved the four points.”

This Saturday, the Herd are in action away at the Haringey Huskies.

Also last weekend a win for Guildford over Cardiff, confirmed Basingstoke’s place in the Wilkinson Cup semi-finals.

These games will be played on the final weekend of January with their opponents yet to be decided.