THE Basingstoke Bison finished their home campaign of 2019 with a thrilling 6-5 overtime win over the visiting Raiders.

The home side still minus British forwards George Norcliffe and Oscar Evans, fell behind after the visitors scored on the first powerplay of the evening from Oliver Baldock.

After this the home side dominated the rest of the first 20 minutes, but a superb performance from Raiders’ man of the match Ethan Jones saw him only beaten once.

This came at 12:20 when a Liam Morris blue line shot was tipped home by Bison’s man of the match Sam Talbot.

The visitors again struck first blood in the second period as Lukas Sladkovsky scored from close in.

Once again, the home side had the better of the session, but were only able to find one goal at 28:24.

This was scored by Alex Sampford after being found by a lovely pass from Sean Norris.

Like the previous two periods, the Raiders went ahead again in the final session thanks to Jake Sylvester.

Then two minutes later, the same player scored again this time with a nice back handed finish to make it 4-2.

At this point the Bison called a time out and pulled a goal back on the powerplay, after a sweet blue line strike from Adam Jones.

However, the Raiders restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later, as Brandon Ayliffe was able to skate past the home defence but his shot was saved. Sladlovsky made no mistake with the rebound.

Despite once again being two goals down, the home side continued to press, and the home crowd were on their feet when Michal Klejna deflected Elliott Dewey’s blue line shot past a helpless Jones in the Raiders net at 53:34.

With 80 seconds left and being roared on by the home fans, the Herd pulled their netminder and went all out for the equaliser.

Just when it looked like time was going to run out a goal mouth scramble saw Sampford score with 3.9 seconds remaining which was greeted with one of the biggest cheers of the season.

Just seconds later, the buzzer sounded and with the home side’s fans still buzzing the game went into overtime.

The Bison had the first chance as Richard Bordowski fired just wide.

The puck was then cleared down towards the home goal and in a foot race Liam Morris just beat Dan Scott, but the Raider man crashed him into the boards leaving him in a heap on the ice.

This earned the former Bison man a 5+game penalty for a hit from behind at 60:37

After a delay to remove some blood from the ice, the Bison spent the rest of overtime on the powerplay.

One last great save from Jones stopped Klejna scoring what looked like a certain goal and then Aaron Connolly had a chance to score the game winner shorthanded, but Alex Mettam denied him.

Play returned to the other end, where Adam Harding and Bordowski combined to allow Norris to slot in at the far post at 62:29 to send the home fans wild.

After the game player/coach Ashley Tait said: “We had plenty of chances tonight and finally got the goals we deserved to win the match.”

On Boxing Day, the Herd enjoyed another thrilling win as they won in penalty shots over the visiting Swindon Wildcats.

The Bison took the lead at 16:31 as Harding scored from Liam Morris and Ollie Stone.

The Herd doubled their advantage at 25:23 as Norris finished off a nice move which involved Klejna and Ashley Tait.

Swindon made it 2-1 six minutes later as Tyler Plews netted.

The visitors still trailed going into the final two minutes and pulled their netminder.

This led to Nell scoring the game tying goal at 58:44, assisted by Tyler Vankleef and man of the match Chris Jones.

Overtime failed to split the teams, so penalty shots decided it.

Swindon's Aaron Nell gave the visitors the lead, then Bison's Michal Klejna’s effort was saved as was Loris Taylor.

Bison man of the match Sean Norris then tied the shoot-out at 1-1.

Vankleef then failed to hit the net, which gave Harding the chance to score the winner and that was exactly what the former Swindon man did.

This evening, the Bison are in action away at the Peterborough Phantoms. Then on New Year's Day they are away at Swindon and on Saturday are at home to Peterborough.