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Game Report: Swindon Wildcats 2 Basingstoke Bison 3 (AOT) - 14/02/16

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Swindon Wildcats logo Swindon Wildcats were dealt a kiss of death on Valentines Day, as Basingstoke Bisonstaged a comeback at the Swindon Ice Arena to inflict a killer blow in over time. Total Sport's Ben Callaghan reports.

After two tough defeats on the road the Wildcats were looking forward to home comforts against a familiar foe. After a 5-0 loss in Basingstoke on Friday evening the Cats had an immediate chance for revenge when they visited the SIA for the final time this season. Unfortunately Swindon were unable to get the two points from the contest but did pick up a point having taken the game to overtime.

The Cats started brightly and tested Tomas Hiadlovsky in the Bison net early on. The line of Aaron Nell, Jonas Höög and Floyd Taylor were making their presence well known with good shots and big hits being made. At 3:18 the Cats' strong start led to the opening goal of the game. A defensive mix-up and some questionable netminding led to Hiadlovsky virtually passing the puck to Wildcats captain Jan Kostal who was able to slide the puck under the diving netminder into the net.

Basingstoke began to show why they're the strongest side in the league with Aaron Connolly,Rene Jarolin and Tomas Karpov all forcing Jordan Hedley into strong saves in the opening period, which finished 1-0 in favour of the Cats. Adam Harding thought he'd doubled the Cats lead but the goal was judged to have been kicked in and thus not awarded.

The Bison got back into the game in style at 22.12. Connolly sped through the neutral zone and fired a massive slapshot past Hedley. The puck clanged off the crossbar and down into the net. Despite claims the puck hadn't crossed the line, the light was on and the goal was given by referee Dean Smith. Swindon retook the lead at 31.29 on the powerplay. With Joe Greener in the box for Hooking, the Cats powerplay set up strongly and really tested Hiadlovsky.

Höög combined with Harding and the Swede fed a pass into young Toms Rutkis in front of the net. Rutkis slid the puck under the pads of Hiadlovsky and into the back of the net, which sent the loud home crowd wild. Hedley was contining to show class his skills at the other end of the ice keeping out big slapshots fron Miroslav Vantroba and Stuart Mogg.

The final period would be all Bison virtually. They really showed their talents on the puck and successfully controlled the flow of the play. They finally managed to tie the game up at 51.02. Jarolin with a fierce slapshot into the top corner of the net past Hedley. The young Cats netminder had no chance of stopping the rocket with Karpov and Declan Balmer getting the assists.

Swindon had a late chance to seal the win when Carlo Finucci found himself through on goal after a poor Bison turnover, but was unable to beat Hiadlovsky from up close. The overtime period would be a successful one for Basingstoke. Shaun Thompson with the unlikely winner at 62.15. After Greener held the puck around the D men so well, Thompson pounced on a loose puck near the net to seal the bonus point victory.

Swindon will regroup over the coming week ahead of games against Peterborough and Guildford, knowing key players Stevie Lyle and Tomasz Malasinski should be back in the line-up after their respective Olympic campaigns.

John Barras sponsored Man of the Match awards

Think:RM sponsored Jordan Hedley - Swindon Wildcats

Tomas Karpov - Basingstoke Bison

Click here for more information and news from the Swindon Wildcats website

Click here to see the latest Swindon Wildcats roster for the 2015/16 season

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