Bracknell Bees 4 - 3 Swindon Wildcats (Sun 22nd Nov 2015)

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Bracknell Bees logo The Bees seal a second home victory in a row defeating their local rivals the Swindon Wildcats at The Hive...

Match report by John Slater

The Bracknell Bees returned to The Hive again on Sunday evening to take on their M4 local rivals the Swindon Wildcats. The Bees went into the game missing Callum Fowler whilst the visiting Wildcats were at full strength. Referee Tim Pickett took charge of the match with Ali MacPhee and Phil O'Neill running the lines. Alex Mettam and Jordan Hedley started in nets for the respective teams.

Photo supplied by Bracknell BeesThe game started at a frenetic pace with early chances exchanged as Matt Towalski came close for the Bees before Sam Bullas shot just over the Bees net. The Bees settled into an early period of possession creating good chances for Lukas Smital, Jan Bendik and Frantisek Bakrlik. Vanya Antonov also came close on a number of occasions following good work to create himself space. Alex Mettam was busy in the Bees net too however as Adam Harding and Jonas Hoog were denied on two clear chances. The first powerplay chance went the way of the visiting Wildcats when Lukas Smital was assessed a tripping minor just short of the half way point of the first period. The 'Cats moved the puck well but Alex Mettam came up big on the two best opportunities that Aaron Nell and Jonas Hoog could muster. As the penalty expired Frantisek Bakrlik and Lukas Smital combined well with the laters quick shot well saved by Jordan Hedley in the Wildcats net. With the action swinging from end to end clear chances were limited but both netminders were kept busy none the less. Alex Mettam again did well to deny Jonas Hoog on a fast break before Milan Kostourek and Vanya Antonov combined well with the young forward whistling the puck just wide. Aaron Nell and Jonas Hoog also came close but it was the Bees that broke the deadlock with just under a minute left in the period. It was another big shot from Frantisek Bakrlik that broke the stalemate and the Bees and Bakrlik thought they had doubled the score as the end of period hooter sounded but the referee adjudged it a no goal as time had expired.

The Bees started the second period on the front foot but the better chances went the way of the Wildcats with first Jonas Hoog and Tomasz Malasinski forcing Alex Mettam into action. Vanya Antonov robbed a Swindon player at mid-ice, centered the puck to Scott Spearing whose shot went narrowly wide. The Bees picked up the pace and a good period of pressure including close opportunities for Fratisek Bakrlik and Vanya Antonov with Alex Mettam denying Jan Kostal with a big pad save. As Tomasz Malasinski sat out a hooking penalty the Bees applied the pressure well with Frantisek Bakrlik and Vanya Antonov coming close again. Despite their pressure the Bees defence had to stand strong and Jonas Hoog and Aaron Nell came close to tying the scores but again Alex Mettam was equal to their efforts. Two goals in the space of 80 seconds half way through the second stanza, both from Milan Kostourek saw the Bees take a three goal lead. The Wildcats responded by calling a time out to re-group and it paid off as the Bees found themselves a man down only two minutes later as Lewis Turner headed to the box. The Wildcats converted the powerplay advantage through Carlo Finucci and then piled on the pressure and narrowed the score to one goal only four minutes later as Aaron Nell pounced on a turnover, passing to Lee Richardson who found a way past Alex Mettam. The lead though only remained at one goal for seventeen seconds as the Bees Matt Foord forced home a rebound following a David Savage shot to extend the lead to two goals once more. The sides exchanged late chances as the period expired with the Bees on the front foot.

With all to play for the Bees again started the period well with Milan Kostourek and Vanya Antonov coming close to extending the lead but Jordan Hedley, in the Swindon net, did well to keep them out. The Wildcats had the man advantage again as the Bees Alex Barker picked up a two minute holding minor. Again the Wildcats powerplay worked well and in the dying seconds of the penalty they netted their third goal of the evening as Jonas Hoog finished well past Alex Mettam. The visitors heads were now up as they pushed forward in search of the equaliser but try as they might the Bees defence and Alex Mettam kept them at bay. A late penalty to Matt Selby of the Wildcats gave the Bees the chance to extend their lead but they still couldn't find a way past Jordan Hedley. As time ticked away the Bees maintained possession well but Alex Mettam still had to be on top form to prevent the Wildcats finding a way through. With time nearly running out the visiting Wildcats removed Jordan Hedley from his net for the extra skater. The Bees Milan Kostourek rang a shot off the post with the net empty and then came close again but the puck trickled wide of the gaping net. The Wildcats pushed forward with the extra skater and the final hooter sounded to relieve the late pressure they have been exerting and the Bees had held on well for another two home points.

Man of the match awards went to Frantisek Bakrlik for the home side Bees and to Adam Harding for the visiting Wildcats.

Match stats
Period scores: 1-0, 3-2, 0-1
Bees scorers: Kostourek 2+1; Bakrlik 1+1; Foord 1+0; Thompson, Savage, Towalski, Antonov & Spearing 0+1
Wildcats scorers: Richardson, Finucci & Hoog 1+0; Nell & Malasinski 0+3
Bees PIMS: 8 (Turner, Towalski, Smital & Barker 2)
Wildcats PIMS: 6 (Finucci, Selby & Malasinski 2)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 42 (14, 10, 18)
Shots on Wildcats (Hedley): 35 (13, 7, 5)

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