Bison 2010/11 End of Season Yearbook Part 3

Well everyone, we’ve reached the final part of our look back of the class of 2010/11 so let’s get down to it! 5 more players followed by a low and a highlight.

#67 Ondrej Lauko – “Mr Fox”

Point production down, a goal drought at one point in the season. “They’ve solved the fox in the box” said someone to me. 3 problems with that statement:

  1. He’s playing a better team game this season I’d say and the offence has been spread amongst more players.
  2. After scoring 111 points last season, of course he was going to come back
  3. Players have up cycles and down cycles and don’t play at 100% capacity all the time. Though if 76 points is a down year…

There were times this season where frustration obviously set in for Ondrej. His reaction to it seemed to be to check people. Worse reaction for a hockey player to have I suppose.

#81 Carl Graham – “Mr Pleasant Surprise”

Well, he was for me. The experience I had of watching Carl had left me somewhat under enthused by him. I’d seen him get next to no ice time in Manchester then playing on a mediocre Bracknell side so when he signed I instantly went “5th defender”. Carl found his niche and played it well. He wasn’t getting the most minutes but he was a good physical defenceman who was aware of his team protection duties. A man so tough he punched a man’s arm out of its socket, whilst I don’t think he is the most gifted player he was arguably one of my personal favourites to watch because his commitment to the cause is second to none.

#89 Ciaran Long – “Mr Creativity”

If he hadn’t had so many problems with injuries this could have been a really good year for Ciaran. Some people aren’t sold on him, I am to an extent. I’m not convinced he’s the right choice on the power play at the other point to Kieras but his run of good form has warranted a reward and the extra ice time the powerplay brings is fitting. He has a spark to his play where he’ll do what he thinks needs to be done to get the job done. One of the other team doesn’t like it? Well he’ll fight them then. Bauba of Swindon was made to take penalty after penalty recently because he has the talent to get inside peoples’ heads.

#91 Oli Bronnimann – “Mr Revelation”

Despite having a 40 point plus season, many people weren’t enamoured by the former Geneva junior player. The comparison was to Greg Chambers; talented but at times seemed to coast. The new 50 point plus season Bronnimann seems to have really endeared himself more to the Bison faithful. He’s the first 30 goal British scorer in God knows how long, he’s played with intensity, he’s thrown hits, he’s linked up brilliantly again with Lauko and Chinn for a formidable scoring line this season. He can always be relied upon at least once a game to come in off the wing and let a shot go right at the keeper’s chest. Luckily he can also be relied on to score goals.

#95 Tom Annetts – “Mr Unfortunate”

Rather than lay into Tom I’m going to take a different angle here; I will stand by what I told people at the start of this season; Annetts earned the right to begin the season as the Bison starter. He’d played so well at the tail end of last season and this year, it just wasn’t his year. He lost the starting job to Skinns, his play wasn’t up to the standard of the previous year and his confidence appeared to go which never saw him get the starting job back and appearing only occasionally in relief. As I said above, it’s just unfortunate more than anything else. I just hope this season doesn’t dent his enthusiasm for the sport.

Regular Season Low Point: Saturday 23rd October 2010; Bison 6-7 Flames

Whilst the cup final defeat to Slough is an obvious choice here, there was one game that really stuck in my mind where I was so low I didn’t know how to react. Having been 5-2 up at home and having chased Hala from the Flames net, implosion wasn’t the word. For those people who know me personally I am a rather loud and chatty bloke. I was struck dumb, literally dumb until I got home to my wife later that night.

Regular Season High Point: Saturday 13th November; Bison 4-1 Phoenix

Games with Manchester are always big games and generally tight affairs that could go either way; not this one. Right at the start of the Bison’s 13 game winning run was a game where we saw the best British player of all time shut out of the game. A shake up of the lines saw a top line of Tony Redmond centring Kubenko and Wiggins. Whilst Wiggy and The Machine got in the way of Huppe and Kristofferson, Redmond stuck to Tony Hand like he’d been welded to him. With the EPL player of the year unable to distribute the puck efficiently with one man permanently marking him and 2 big bodies clogging the lanes, the Phoenix were shut down and never looked like winning as the Bison scored 4 unanswered goals.

So we leave 2010/2011 season behind us in the dust. Roll on the summer, let the rumours begin as Coach Mo puts together the class of 2011/12.

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