THE Basingstoke Bison suffered only their second defeat in 30 home league games against their arch rivals the Bracknell Bees on Saturday night.

This was after the visitors buzzed to a 5-3 victory in a game which also saw over 100 minutes of penalties handed out after the final buzzer.

The Herd welcomed back defenceman Tom Ralph, but were minus George Norcliffe and Sam Talbot, as the home side looked to chalk up their fourth straight win this season over the Bees.

However, Bracknell's new import Dominick Gabaj on his debut, scored the game's opening goal at 7:40 as he lifted the puck over the shoulder of Dan Weller-Evans at the post.

This spurred the visitors on and they dominated the first period from this point adding a second after Josh Martin tipped Roman Malinik's blue line shot, which trickled over the line.

A minute later, the Bees added a third from a lucky deflection off of the stick of James Galazzi to make it 3-0.

At this point, the Bison called a time out and switched their netminders with Alex Mettam taking over in the home goal.

Mettam was soon in action sticking away a shot from man of the match Malinik and a minute later, the same player on a breakaway blazed his effort over the bar.

Bracknell’s second highest penalty taker of all-time Galazzi then endeared himself to the home fans with a cross check on Bayley Harewood. A chorus of boos rang out in the building as he went to the sin bin.

Then as the first period came to a close an awful hit by Bees’ Harvey Stead went unpunished, even if referee Deana Cuglietta appeared to have had a clear view of it.

So it was no surprise Bison Hallam Wilson took exception and the resulting fight earned both a four minute rest in the sin bin.

The Herd opened the second period on the powerplay and made full use of it, as man of the match Michal Klejna’s superb pass found Ashley Tait all alone at the back post to slot home at 21:05.

Bison’s Josh Kelly then went close with a blue line shot, but Bracknell went straight up the other end of the rink and Zac Milton made it 4-1.

The Bison hit back as an excellent skate down the wing from Klejna saw him feed Tait to score at 24:45

The Herd reduced the lead to one nine minutes later as Tait and Klejna combined and Morris scored from the slot.

The final session saw the side’s trade chances, before the Bees doubled their lead as a nice worked move on the powerplay saw Stuart Mogg release the impressive Malinik to score at 49:04.

The home side continued to push for an equaliser, but were stopped in their tracks, when Alex Sampford challenging for the puck with Zac Milton, picked up a laughable interference call.

However, despite being shorthanded Tait found Marek Malinsky and he hit the post with his shot.

Sampford was then released from the sin bin and only a smart save from Adam Goss denied him.

After this the clock ticked down for a very rare Bracknell win in Basingstoke.

After the buzzer sounded Galazzi fired the puck at Mettam in the home net, which enraged the netminder and team mates alike.

Galazzi was crashed into the boards and this sparked a mass scrum from which Bison’s Sam Smith and Bracknell’s Milton fought.

At the same time the officials were doing their best to keep Mettam and Galazzi apart and really should have sent both teams off the ice.

This proved to be a fatal error as after the first fight finished a few seconds later another kicked off at the other side of the rink between Bison’s Adam Jones and Bracknell’s Martin.

Galazzi who had been escorted off to the away bench returned to get involved and received a 2+2+ game penalty, while each of the four players in the fights each got 5+game for fighting.

Liam Morris also picked up a 10 misconduct penalty no doubt for saying what most of the fans were thinking to the officials.

It swelled the total penalty count for the game to 176 minutes with Bracknell winning that as well 90-86.

After the game a disappointed Ashley Tait said: “We failed to come out and play from the start and gave them too much of a lead.”

Tonight, the Bison are on the road with a long trip to face the Hull Pirates.