THE Basingstoke Bison maintained their perfect home record in 2020, as they cruised to an 8-2 victory over their bitter rivals the Bracknell Bees in front of a bumper crowd.

The last time the Bees buzzed into town they left with a rare victory, but on Saturday night normal service was resumed.

The Bison completely dominated the opening 20 minutes with the shots on goal count of 20-6 in their favour a fair reflection.

Basingstoke captain Elliott Dewey had the first shot after just 16 seconds.

Adam Goss continued to be tested and the home side finally got their deserved first goal at 15:54.

Adam Jones fired in a shot from an acute angle which Goss saved, but the defenceman buried the rebound.

The Bison then made it 2-0 just 24.5 seconds before the break, as good work from the all Brit line of Adam Harding, George Norcliffe and Alex Sampford saw the puck come out to defenceman Tom Ralph and he smashed the puck in off the underside of the bar.

The second session proved to be a more even affair and Goss produced a superb stick save to deny Michal Klejna early on.

The Herd extended their lead to 3-0 at 27:24 thanks to a lovely low bullet strike from Sam Talbot, after Richard Bordowski and Ryan Sutton combined.

The Bees then opened their account after man of the match Zack Milton netted at 36:58.

With the score at 3-1, the Bees were back in the game, but any hopes they had of victory soon vanished in the final period.

The Herd took their tally to four as Norcliffe slotted home from close range after a great pass from Sampford.

The home fans had only just ended celebrating that goal, when Sean Norris with a lovely finish from man of the match Ashley Tait and Klejna made it 5-1 at 44:55.

Two minutes later a clash between the Bison’s Liam Morris and Bracknell’s Josh Ealey-Newman saw the Bees player punching Morris when he had dropped to the ice.

It was no surprise the Bees came off worst in the penalty count with Ealey-Newman picking up two minutes for both slashing and roughing, along with 10 minutes for misconduct and a match penalty for unsportmanlike gestures from the sin bin. Morris picked up just two minutes for slashing.

This gave the home side a five-on-three advantage and they encamped themselves in the Bees end for the full two minutes, but Goss made several good saves to keep them out.

The powerplay continued with three minutes of five-on-four and the Bison added to their tally as Tait slid the puck across to Klejna, who scored with a sweet strike.

The Bees then scored their second goal of the night from Aidan Doughty at 57:34.

However, soon after the home side were given another powerplay and Klejna struck again at 58:08, much to the delight of the home fans.

Then with 82 seconds left the Herd made it eight as Sam Talbot made the most of a nice pass from Bordowski.

After the game Bison player/coach Ashley Tait said: “Being a one game weekend it was so important we won the game and I was very pleased with the performance this evening.”

The Bison have no game tonight, but next weekend have a double header encounter with the Peterborough Phantoms with the home game on Saturday (6.30pm).