Running with the Herd – Bison vs Telford Tigers 15/10/11Posted: 16/10/2011
Basingstoke Bison 7-2 Telford Tigers
That’s more like it: After last weekend’s antics, the Bison returned to form with some very solid play from all quarters. 7 different goalscorers speaks to the offensive threat that the team possesses when they fire on all cylinders. Skinns was solid in net most of the night and got beaten by two goals when the outskaters fell asleep for brief moments but otherwise he made good save after good save. I was wondering, as many probably were, how the Bison would come out after last weekend’s poor result. They came out looking a bit sharper and on the ball. Once they had found how to crack the Tigers game plan they put their boot on the neck and dominated. This was the sort of Bison team we all wanted to see; a team that gets the lead and won’t give the other team a look in so all they leave with is a hearty handshake at the end.
First class 3rd line: The third line played some really good hockey last night and covered all the bases for what anyone would consider good play. Craig Tribe and Liam Chong both went 1+1 on the night, Wiggins went 0+1 so 5 points from forwards 7-10 is never a bad thing. Heron as well, despite not scoring gave his usual amount of hard work and was buzzing around like a rocket powered blue bottle.
Whilst people will remember Wiggins’ contribution for the fight (more on that in a bit), I thought Tribe and Chong were very impressive. Tribe took his goal well and was solid in all facets of the game. Chong, who got up and carried on after a giant hit he took from Watkins, covered every inch of the ice at least twice. He was excellent on the penalty kill and scored a peach of a goal. Not sure many keepers would have stopped that shot.
Dubec’s wave of relief: After last weekend where he was almost anonymous in the game vs the Jets, Marec Dubec really woke up this weekend. On a handy looking top line alongside Volrab and Bronnimann, Dubec looked a lot more at ease. I think some of the comparisons with Kubenko are justified; the start has been slow but it looks like he could be easing his way into the EPL style of play. Dubec put his body on the line to make plays, threw some very good hits and, whilst it was a goal once the game was already won, he took the goal well and from the celebration you could see that it came as a great relief. Whether this is the great awakening remains to be seen but I’m pleased for Dubec. That goal seemed to mean a lot to him. He appears to be finding his feet.
Not so much Miller Time as Howe does he do it: We have a Gordie Howe hattrick ladies and gentlemen! Joe Miller’s evening started off with an assist by passing the puck back to Oakford who walked in and shot through traffic which beat Declan Ryan in the Tigers goal. His goal was well worked; Miller got himself free in plenty of space as Volrab drew the defenders, the Czech dished the puck to Miller who had time to control and pick a spot in the back of the net. His fight was an unusual affair; randomly with about 90 seconds to go Miller and Josh Bruce go sticks down, gloves down, helmets off at centre ice and go at it. They tied up and apart from a few rabbit punches either side, that was it. Miller got the take down but the fight was a draw. As opposed to the first fight of the evening…
Wiggins vs Watkins: After Watkins’ giant hit on Chong it appeared Wiggy was after some payback. I missed the initial slash that Wiggins gave to Watkins to warn him what was about to come but we all saw the fight. Gloves were off quickly, as were the helmets and Wiggins…well he tenderised Watkins. The Telford player/coach was left hanging on for dear life as the Bison’s #28 teed off on the side of his head before forcing him to the ice without Watkins getting a punch in. To paraphrase a video game; Wiggins wins, flawless victory.
A word on our opponents: I don’t think Telford were that bad. Saying that they didn’t look that good either. Ryan did the best he could in the Tigers net but the defence just couldn’t do much about the Bison at times. Andrew McKinney was a decent enough shout for man of the match; a goal and an assist and was generally putting himself about a lot. There was some wonder whether he and Nicky Chinn would drop the gloves as they were in each other’s faces a bit but it never materialised. Tigers looked solid enough in the first period and even had a few chances to take the lead but couldn’t seem to find a way past Skinns. They might have felt aggrieved to have gone into the first break 1-0 down but their game plan fell apart in the second when the Bison scored 4 goals in 11 shots on Ryan. At 5-1 down the Tigers started getting a bit chippy which didn’t help their cause a great deal but they had a bit of fight in them, I’ll give them credit for that.
Lowlight of the night: The two goals the Bison allowed as the outskaters fell asleep a bit on them leaving Skinns to do too much on his own. A little gripe and the team were a lot tighter in their own zone than last week but still could be tighter.
Highlight of the night: Moria’s goal for me. Chinn with the puck behind the net managed to bamboozle Declan Ryan a treat. Chinn made the pass to Moria and with Ryan staring at the wrong corner of his net, Moria fired home. A bit of magic from two of the elder statesmen.
MK Lightning next week at home who will no doubt prove a tougher task. Bring them on says I!