Month: December 2017

Highlights: MK Thunder vs Basingstoke Bison


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Basingstoke Bison edge Thunder on NHS Night

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By Tom Hurley

Two goals from Aaron Connolly lifted Basingstoke Bison to a 3-2 victory over Thunder at Planet Ice on NHS Night Sunday.

Penalty trouble mounted up for the home side as Lewis Clifford’s men incurred 52 penalty minutes over the course of the game, a stark contrast to the lone 2-minute minor committed by Basingstoke.

The Bison scored the opening goal on one of their eight power plays when the impressive Ivan Antonov knocked the puck to Connolly on the boards, with the visiting captain skating into the slot and firing past Tom Annetts inside of eight minutes.

That lead was doubled by the time the first intermission came around after Connolly carried into the Thunder zone and fed Tomas Karpov behind the goal line. The Czech forward slid the puck past Annetts from a tight angle to make it 2-0 through 20 minutes.

Thunder came back strong in the second period and halved the deficit in the 25th minute. Rupert Quiney collected the puck on the left wing boards, worked himself down the corner then in front for a shot, his rebound was met by Ryan Handisides who snapped it past Basingstoke netminder Dean Skinns.

The scoreline remained 2-1 deep into the third period when Clifford called a timeout and elected to pull Annetts for an extra attacker, with a face-off coming deep inside the Bison zone.

Greg Randall couldn’t convert with a slapper from the point, then when Ross Bowers was unable to get his stick on the end of centering pass from Tom Carlon, Connolly raced away to score into the empty net for a 3-1 advantage.

Gareth O’Flaherty gave Thunder a glimmer of hope with nine seconds remaining when he sent the rebound from Carlon’s shot into the net, but MKT were unable to score again as the clock wound down.

Thunder will have a weekend off to refresh themselves before taking another crack at the Bison in Basingstoke on Saturday, Dec. 16. MKT return to home ice on Sunday, Dec. 17 when Streatham IHC roll into Milton Keynes for a 6:30 p.m. face-off at Planet Ice.

Tickets for the game against former MK Lightning captain Adam Carr’s RedHawks are priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions (students, over 65s, and supporters registered disabled), £5 MKL Season Ticket Holders, and £1 Under 16s.

FINAL SCORE

Results

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Basingstoke Bison2013

Thunder aim to knock off Bison

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By Tom Hurley

MK Thunder face Basingstoke Bison for the third time this season on Sunday when the Hampshire club travel to Milton Keynes for a 6:30 p.m. face-off at Planet Ice.

Lewis Clifford’s men will be attempting to be the second team to defeat Bison in league play this season, after Streatham became the first with a 2-0 victory Saturday.

Basingstoke (10-1-0 NIHL) have been beaten five times in cup play, the most recent of those defeats coming via penalty shots at Peterborough Phantoms on Nov. 18. — the same team that Thunder took two points from three weeks ago.

Czech forward Tomas Karpov leads NIHL South 1 in scoring with 34 points on the season, 18 of which coming as assists which places the Benesov native joint-top of British ice hockey’s second tier in assists.

Russian-born youngster Ivan Antonov sits fifth in the league and second on the Bison with 23 points in the eight NIHL South 1 games the 20-year-old forward has played. Captain Aaron Connolly is next on the Basingstoke scoring charts, with nine goals and nine assists on the season.

Thunder (6-6-3 NIHL) enter the contesr matching Sunday’s visitors in having played only one game last weekend — a 4-2 home win over the improving Cardiff Fire on home ice.

Defender Lewis Christie stressed the importance of MKT being ready to go from the first puck drop after falling behind first in each of the last two games, and both matchups against the Bison this campaign.

“We’re in a positive mind,” Christie said. “We had a good practice (this week), we’ll follow on from that hopefully, and have a good start to the game. That’s where we’ve been lacking against Basingstoke. They’ve got a good team, they bounce on us pretty much straight away. Hopefully we get a good start — that’s key for us.”

Veteran netminder Tom Annetts is expected to return between the pipes after teenager Josh Crane impressed on his NIHL South 1 debut last time out.

Former Bison forward Ross Bowers picked up two points in that win over Cardiff, which puts him top of the Thunder scoring tree with eight goals and eight assists for 16 points. Captain Jamie Line follows Bowers with 14 points, ahead of youngster Rio Grinell-Parke who has 11 points on the season.

Sunday’s game is dedicated as NHS Night, meaning all NHS staff can gain free entry at the turnstiles when showing a valid NHS ID. Ticket prices for non-NHS staff are priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions (students, over 65s, registered disabled, MKL season ticket holders), and only £1 for Under 16s.

Lewis Christie wants strong start vs Bison

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