Match report

5 - 3
Basingstoke Bison

SWINDON Wildcats maintained their perfect home record after they picked up a 5-2 win over Basingstoke Bison at the Link Centre. Player-coach Aaron Nell led the way with two goals, while Neil Liddiard, Luc Johnson and Max Birbraer chipped in with solitary efforts.

The first period came and went for the Wildcats without scoring, Johnson was first to test Daniel Weller-Evans between the pipes, but the visitor did well to block the with his torso. It was the visitors who came the closest to getting their noses in front when Stuart Mogg’s shot crashed against the post after getting through a crowd. The final minute could have been an issue for the Cats, as Joe Hazeldine and Liddiard were both handed penalties for holding and slashing respectively. After being out of the bin for less than a minute, Hazeldine finds himself back in there, this time it was for interference.

The second period was far more eventful that the first, as Liddiard got the first goal of the game 25 minutes in, latching onto Nell’s rebound to score. Four minutes later the game was level once again as Vanya Antonov bundled the puck over the line, much to the displeasure of Sam Zajac, who found himself in a scuffle with Aaron Connolly. Both players were then given a two plus two minute penalty for roughing, however it got worse for the hosts when Chris Jones was side-lined for 10 minutes for misconduct.

The Cats then suffered a bit of a sucker-punch as Marr could do little to prevent Bison taking the initiative, after seeing Daniel Scott’s shot late. With the period winding to a close, player coach Nell came to the rescue and restored parity for the third time, when he slotted home from Jordan Kellsall’s smart pass.

The final instalment got off to a perfect start when Nell grabbed his second of the night to put Swindon back in front, with an unassisted goal. Shortly after Johnson put the hosts two ahead for the first time with another unassisted goal, although the visiting netminder may feel he could have done better.

The game had 12 minutes left when Birbaer all but sealed the win, as the import broke clear of the Bison defence and had no hesitancy poking home Swindon’s fifth of the night.

25:25 Neil Liddiard
+ Chris Jones
+ Aaron Nell
37:17 Aaron Nell
+ Jordan Kelsall
+ Jan Kostal
40:48 Aaron Nell Goal
43:12 Luc Johnson Goal
48:20 Max Birbraer Goal