THE Basingstoke Barracudas, supported by SkateStation and Surrey Lofts opened their season up with a 9-7 home victory over the Guildford Smoke,writes CHRIS SALMON.

The sides, who have met twice before in the Corridor Cup last season, were eager to blow the dust off their skates and get back into action ahead of their respective league campaigns this year.

The Cudas took a deserved 2-0 lead by the end of the first period thanks to goals from Jack Hawkes and Matt Sims.

The second session was a much faster and free flowing affair although the home side, powered by Target Therapies, found themselves shorthanded five times.

This opened the door to the visiting team who hit back with three unanswered goals to takea 3-2 lead.

A sides then traded goals to the buzzer as it finished 6-6 with Joe Silvester, Sims (1) and two from Roberto Tambellini on target for the home side.

A sharp and uncharacteristic dressing down from head coach Paul Standing during the second interval changed the tide for the somewhat wayward Barracudas, who are still finding their rhythm with a newly rebuilt team.

Guildford then ran into penalty trouble and the Cudas scored three times as Tambellini completed his hat-trick and Jack Standing grabbed a brace, including a long range effort from near the half way line assisted by his net minder brother Connor.

Guildford came back late in the final period, but it was little more than consolation as they brought the final score up to 9-7 to the Basingstoke Barracudas and the first home win of the season.

The two teams meet again in Guildford, at 11pm on Saturday, February 9 with free entry to spectators.

All pictures by Dan Murphy