Swindon Wildcats 4-3 Basingstoke Bison (OT)

A brace from Jonas Hoog saw Swindon Wildcats claim their first four point weekend of the season. Swindon started the game by gifting the puck a couple of times to Basingstoke, but the returning Stevie Lyle stood firm in denying the Bison an early opening score. It was the Wildcats who opened the scoring in the eleventh minute through a well-worked powerplay, finding Carlo Finucci unmarked at the far post.

The start of the second period saw the Wildcats on a powerplay again and they extended their lead further through Adam Harding. However, two quick goals through Joe Rand (on the powerplay) and Ciaran Long saw the scores level by just after the halfway mark; both goals were quite scrappy, but the Wildcats second had hardly been a goal of beauty. Some tempers began to fray, with Matt Selby seeming to be looking for a fight and Sam Bullas and Tomas Karpov exchange words after a check, which saw Karpov move towards Bullas before joining the bench – both ended up with 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Penalties mounted for the Bison, with Aaron Connolly (charging) and Ciaran Long (delay of the game) joining Karpov in the penalty box.

The third period was a relatively tight affair, but a third powerplay goal (Hoog’s first) gave the Wildcats the lead with six minutes and thirty seconds to play. Bison pulled Tomas Hiadlovsky with around 90 seconds to go and camped themselves in the Wildcats zone. With 16 seconds to go, Neil Liddiard picked up a cross checking penalty; four seconds later and Bison were level again through Karpov. The game went into 3-on-3 overtime and both teams had shots, but a shot over Hiadlovsky’s blocker side shoulder by Hoog inside the first minute of overtime secured the two points for the Wildcats.

PIMs: Wildcats: 12 (2, 6, 4); Bison: 12 (4, 6, 2)
SOG: Wildcats: 26 (8, 10, 8); Bison: 43 (16, 13, 14).
Points: Wildcats: Hoog – 2+0; Finucci – 1+1; Harding – 1+0; Kostal, Malasinski, Nell – 0+1; Bison: Rand, Long, Karpov – 1+0; Thompson, Mogg, Greener, Vantroba, Rounding – 0+1.
Man of the Match: Wildcats: Jonas Hoog; Bison: Ciaran Long