Running with the Herd – Bison vs Swindon Wildcats 20/11/11

Basingstoke Bison 7-2 Swindon Wildcats

Volrab x 3                   Watt

Kubenko                     Höög

Moria

Chong

Oakford

 

 

Sunday is Funday: When you’re hot, you’re hot as the saying goes and the Bison were nothing short of devastating. Coming in off the back of a 7-3 win on Saturday away in Slough, confidence in the team was noticeably high. The first 5 minutes or so were relatively even but once the Bison scored, the momentum shifted and it was all downhill for Swindon from there.

The first period pretty much killed the game. Volrab’s opening goal saw him walk out from behind the net and sublimely backhand the puck over the shoulder of Tom Murdy when he really should have been put on his rump by a Wildcats defender.

Then Kubenko scored when he should have been taken out of the play. Then Swindon turned the puck over in front of Murdy and Moria scored when he should have been rubbed out of the play. Kubenko then passes to Chong who walked in virtually unopposed, makes a move that gave Murdy about as much chance as a snowball in a pizza oven and fires it home. 4-0, 13 minutes gone and the Wildcats didn’t know what year it was, let alone where they were. It could have been more before the first period ended.

To Swindon’s credit they put up more of a fight in the second period and looked more threatening on the attack as the Bison seemed to take their foot off the pedal a bit. The Bison had chances but bounces didn’t go their way and Murdy made some impressive stops.

Swindon got themselves on the board on the powerplay. With Cesky steaming towards the net, Volrab hooked him down for what some might call an “acceptable penalty” as the former EPL all star was baring down on Colclough. Quick move from the Wildcats on the powerplay, Watt shoots and scores.

In the third period however Bison decided enough was enough and put the game to bed. A lovely laser of a goal from Oakford made it 5 as he took the puck in step and just blasted it. Volrab made it 6-1 on a delayed penalty for Sam Bullas hitting Jacob Heron in the back before Jonas Höög made it 6-2 with an awesome wrist shot that any keeper would have had problems stopping. Volrab however had the last word as he tipped Moria’s shot past a screened Murdy. Job well done in the end and a 6th win on the bounce for the Bison.

 

FIGHT Reynolds vs Watt: Now this one was an actual fight as opposed to whatever Milos Melicherik was trying last week. A big hit followed by some pushing and shoving and away they went. There were few punches but the real highlight of the fight was Kurt using the tilt as a tryout for the Olympic Judo team. The takedown saw Watt fly through the air before landing on the ice to the point where rink management were probably worried about a skate catching a disco light. Edge to Reynolds for me in this one but if you called it a draw I wouldn’t begrudge you that opinion.

 

DanJoe-rous combination: The partnership of Daniel Volrab and Joe Miller seem to really be coming good in this winning run for the Bison. I mentioned way back during the 4on4 tournament that I wanted to see these two playing together with some frequency and now, with Moria joining them on that top line we have a very skilled and active scoring threat that has a good balance. Moria is…well Moria with a high skill level going forward, Volrab is an excellent two way player with a lot of skill and Miller has Volrab’s skill but a bit of added grit and doesn’t mind going into the corners.

Sometimes you just have players who click together which is what we have with Volrab and Miller. They compliment each other’s style so well and they’re a really potent threat as a result. Long may it continue!

 

All fine on the blueline: Sunday was another great performance from all 6 defenders on the ice, the 5 blueliners and Matt Colclough.

5 goals conceded over 2 games this weekend is a great return considering how many the team shipped in October.

Colclough gave another mature performance in nets where he made decent saves, gave up few rebounds and those he did give up were, for the most part, well controlled.

He was helped by the 5 men right in front of him who all looked on top form. It would be unfair to really single any of them out for higher praise than the others as they all played really well but mentions do need to go to Reynolds and Harris for several great bits of defensive skill on and off the puck to snuff out chances.

 

A word on our opponents: Not the greatest night to be a fan of the Swindon Wildcats sadly. They were, for the most part, really poor. Considering the performance they had the night before, only narrowly losing 2-1 to Guildford, you’d have hoped they’d have come out with a bit of fire in their bellies. Sadly that fire was replaced by indigestion and most Swindon fans were feeling pig sick by the time the 4th Bison goal beat Murdy.

Whilst Murdy let in 7 goals I don’t think he played that badly. He made some decent saves and whilst he’ll want the 3rd Bison goal back, he certainly made an effort. He was mostly hung out to dry by his team that seemed to forget how to defend at the back and struggled to deal with the Bison as they went forward.

Man of the match for Swindon was a tough call because nobody really stood out head and shoulders above anyone else in that performance. I assume Höög got it for his goal but otherwise he was barely noticeable. Nicky Watt did his usual bit of being here, there and everywhere but to little effect. Cesky and Pinc did little all evening and the returning hero Aaron Nell was ineffectual. Wildcats fans will hope it was a bad day at the office.

 

Lowlight of the night: No Wiggins again due to injury and Jan Melichar catching Dan Harris in the head with an elbow. The lack of call was astonishing on that one.

 

Highlight of the night: All glory to the Volrab on this one. An outstanding performance by #11 who finally seems to have found his feet at this level and is looking more dangerous by the week of the result. His 1st goal of the night is the highlight, a sublime backhanded effort that set the tone for what was to come.

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