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Bracknell Bees 3 - 4 Sheffield Steeldogs (Sun 29th Nov 2015)

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Bracknell Bees logo The Bees came up just short at The Hive, against the Steeldogs despite, a late rally and valiant effort...

Match report by John Slater

The Bracknell Bees returned to The Hive on Sunday evening for their third game in four days. They took on the Sheffield Steeldogs. The Bees went into the game missing Callum Fowler, Matt Towalski & David Savage whilst the visiting Steeldogs were missing Greg Wood, Tom Barkworth and Charles Thompson. Referee Paul Brooks took charge of the match with Justin Lalonde and Amy Lack running the lines. Alex Mettam and Dalibor Sedlar started in nets for the respective teams.

The game got off to something of a strange start when after only twenty-four seconds Calum Pattison on the visiting Steeldogs went for the Bees Scott Spearing. The Bees forward wasn't expecting the clash and Pattison found himself sitting a 2+2 penalty for roughing and a further 10 minute misconduct. A mere twenty-four seconds later Jan Bendik was caught with a high stick by Steeldogs import Arnoldas Bosas and following the delay to clean the ice he was ejected from the game, initially on a match penalty for high sticks but this downgraded to a 5+game penalty as Jan Bendik returned to the action. The result was a lengthy powerplay, both 5 on 3 and hen 5 on 4, to the home side Bees. Lukas Smital, Jan Bendik and Vanya Antonov lead the way for the Bees who piled on the pressure and shots but could not find a way past Dalibor Sedlar in the Sheffield net. With the Bees still on the powerplay Stanislav Lascek broke free for the Steeldogs and the Bees Matt Foord brought Lascek down and was called for hooking. The Bees didn't let up with the early pressure and Scott Spearing tipped a Lukas Smital shot narrowly wide. The Steeldogs defence stood firm however to see off the Bees advantage. Following the frenetic start the game now settled into end to end action with Alex Mettam having to be on top form to keep Stanislav Lascek and Andrew Hirst chances out for the Bees. At the other end of the ice Lukas Smital and Jan Bendik combined well as did Josh Tetlow and Vanya Antonov but Sedlar in the Sheffield net would not be beaten. Young Tom Beesley tipped a shot just wide of the Sheffield net before Lubomir Korhon cut through the Bees defence and fired a wrist shot at Alex Mettam. The Bees netminder saved the initial shot but the rebound hit Bees defenceman Sam Waller in front of the net and found its way into the goal to give the Steeldogs a fortunate lead. The goal spurred the Bees back onto the offence with Lukas Smital and Vanya Antonov coming close. Alex Barker, Milan Kostourek and Carl Thompson also had good chances for the Bees as they piled forward in search of the equalising goal. The Steeldogs however were creating chances of their own with Lubomir Korhon, Lewis Bell and Tom Squires all keeping Alex Mettam busy in the Bees net. In the final two minutes of the period Bees defenceman Sam Waller was called for holding and the visiting Sheffield side took only eighteen seconds of the power play to extend their lead to two goals as a Steve Duncombe long range shot found its way through a crowd and past the screened Mettam. In the dying seconds during a goal mouth scramble in front of the Bees net Josh Smith picked up a slashing minor meaning the Bees would start the second period short-handed.

With a penalty to kill as the second stanza got underway the Bees did well to limit the Steeldogs chances and came close themselves as Vanya Antonov whistled a breakaway shot wide of the Sheffield net. Antonov then combined well with Milan Kostourek and Alex Barker but the Steeldogs defence scrambled the puck clear. The Bees found themselves a man down again after just over three minutes in the period as Jan Bendik sat out an interference minor. Again the Steeldogs looked to punish the Bees as Ben Morgan and Liam Charnock let fly with long range shots before Alex Mettam robbed Liam Charnock in close too. The Bees looked to press forward as Jan Bendik and Milan Kostourek came close but were denied by Dalibor Sedlar. Again the Bees fell afoul of the referee as Alex Barker picked up a tripping minor. Alex Mettam had to be alert to scramble the puck clear on two occasions but as the penalty expired however another goal mouth scramble was forced home by Tom Squires to give the visitors a three goal lead with half of the game gone. The game again settled into end to end action but with limited quality chances until, with less than thirty seconds left in the period Vanya Antonov finished a nice pass from Lukas Smital and fired the puck goal-ward. The initial shot was saved but Antonov was quick to pick up the rebound and fire it home, much to Dailbor Sedlars annoyance.

Trailing by two goals heading into the last twenty minutes the Bees went all out at the start of the period to pile on the pressure. Milan Kostourek and Sam Waller fired in long range shots and Lukas Smital had an effort saved in close before the referee judged Milan Kostourek had tripped Ashley Calvert and despite the Bees forwards protests he was assessed a two minute minor penalty. Tim Smith had a long range shot well saved by Alex Mettam but it was Lewis Bell that extended the Steeldogs lead once more as he fired a quick wrist shot past Alex Mettam following a pin point pass from Lubomir Korhon. Again the Bees didn't let their heads drop and immediately pushed forward once more but neither Milan Kostourek nor Alex Barker could convert good opportunities. With just over seven minutes remaining in the game Milan Kostourek picked his spot with a neat backhand shot over Sedlars shoulder in close on the delayed penalty. With the Bees looking to narrow the lead further came another flash point as Scott Spearing and Lubomir Korhon clashed. As Spearing collided with the Steeldogs forward Korhon reacted by knocking the Bees forward to the ice and punching him to the back of the head before then continuing to attack Spearing. The officials separated the players and escorted them to the penalty box, Spearing receiving a two minute interference penalty and Korhon was ejected from the game with a match penalty for roughing. The penalty will see the Sheffield player miss next Saturdays clash between the sides in Sheffield. With their tails the Bees piled forward eagerly looking for their third goal of the evening and rained shots and efforts in on the Sheffield net and whilst still on the powerplay the Bees were rewarded for their efforts as Matt Foord tipped in a Sam Waller shot to setup an exciting end to the game. In the dying two minutes the sides exchanged timeouts and the Bees opted to remove Alex Mettam from their net in favour of the extra skater but despite late pressure and the Sheffield side narrowly missing the empty net there were no further goals and the Steeldogs clung on to their one goal lead to see out the result.

Man of the match awards went to Jan Bendik for the home side Bees and to Ben Morgan for the visiting Steeldogs.

Match stats
Period scores: 0-2, 1-1, 2-1
Bees scorers: Antonov 1+2; Kostourek 1+1; Foord 1+0; Bendik, Smital & Waller 0+1
Steeldogs scorers: Korhon 1+2; Bell 1+1; Hirst & Squires 1+0; Lascek, Morgan & Duncombe 0+1
Bees PIMS: 16 (Foord, Bendik, Smith, Smital, Waller, Spearing, Barker & Kostourek 2)
Steeldogs PIMS: 66 (Korhon & Bosas 25; Pattison 14; Duncombe 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 32 (15, 13, 4)
Shots on Steeldogs (Sedlar): 43 (17, 11, 15)

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