THE Basingstoke Bison completed a clean sweep of home wins over their arch local rivals the Bracknell Bees, with a thrilling 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory.

The game was sponsored by the Basingstoke Gazette and it was fitting that their sponsored player Ashley Tait scored the winning penalty shot.

The Bison were already minus import forward Richard Bordowski, defencemen Chris Cooke and Elliott Dewey and then the ninth minute Tom was sent to the dressing room to reduce their defence further.

He picked up a 2+10 boarding penalty. He was furious with the severity of the call and banged the plexi glass with his stick. This earned him another 10 minute penalty and a dismissal.

Just a minute later, fellow defenceman Adam Jones took a cross checking penalty and the Bees made full use of the two-man advantage as Josh Smith skated in on Alex Mettam to score.

Paul Petts then went close for the home side, but the Bees had the better of the session with man of the match Edward Knaggs twice denied from the blue line and then right at the death of the period, Ashley Tait went close from a Petts feed.

The Herd started the second period the better, but a Josh Martin shot was deflected in off Adam Jones’ stick as the Bees doubled their lead at 25:30.

The Bison then went close from Danny Ingoldsby and Tait.

Tyler Vankleef was then lucky to escape with just two minutes for high sticking Alex Sampford in the face and should have been dismissed.

On the resulting powerplay the Herd’s man of the match Adam Jones found Tait and he played the puck across the crease for Michal Klejna to net.

The Bison had the upper hand now and five minutes later, they led 3-2.

The equalising goal came from Adam Harding as he netted Jones’ rebound.

Then a super strike from Danny Ingoldsby gave the home side the lead.

There could have been a fourth as Petts went close.

The third period saw the Bees dominate and eventually they levelled thanks to Vankleef from the right wing.

Soon after, Bracknell’s Shaun Thompson hit the post and Vankleef so nearly got the winner but was denied by a great save from Alex Mettam.

Overtime, saw the Herd have the better of it. How Vankleef was not penalised for upending Klejna I shall never know.

Jay King and Adam Harding then tested Bracknell goalie Dean Skinns. With just 36.3 seconds left, Bracknell’s Martin fired the puck at the Bison goalie after the whistle had blown, which inevitably resulted in some retribution.

This came in the form of Harding crashing him into the boards, which saw the Bison man receive two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Martin also headed to the dressing room after receiving two minutes for unsportmanlike and a 10- minute misconduct.

With no further scoring, the match was decided by penalty shots.

Klejna scored with an excellent strike and then the next four players Bracknell’s Thompson and Vankleef, along with Bison’s Russ Cowley and Tait failed to convert.

So the pressure was on Smith with the final Bees shot in the best of three, but the former Bison man held his nerve and scored to send the shoot-out into sudden death.

As are the rules this season, the team shooting second in the best of three then shoots first in sudden death.

Smith stayed on the ice and tried to score again, but failed as did Klejna, Roman Malinik and Cowley.

The Bees then scored from Vankleef, leaving Tait with the pressure of scoring to keep his side in the contest. He did not disappoint netting after some excellent stick work Vankleef returned to the ice to try to score again, but this time could only find the post. Much to the delight of the majority of the sell- out crowd Tait scored with a class finish into the roof of the net After the game a delighted Tait said: “I enjoyed winning it like that. It may not have been pretty, but we found a way to win and full credit to the guys as a lot were playing different roles tonight.”

This evening, the Bison head to the Hive to take on the Bees again.