Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Bison Come Back

Bison in white

Simultaneous penalties are a chance to get-to-know one's opponent a bit better
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 29 January at the Basingstoke Arena
Basingstoke Bisons 4 Slough Jets 4
Bisons win in a shootout
English Ice Hockey Premier League
#4 on the rinkhopping list
This match in one sentence
Bisons went behind four times, equalised four times, and got a win from the shootout.
So what?
A four-point weekend and a mid-table position for Bison after an excellent away win at Milton Keynes on Saturday.  Jets take three which is enough to edge them up a place in the league table this week, to second.
Something random

I am so pleased to report that the Bison Zamboni goes clockwise and so my northern hemisphere theory is holding up.   There was also a sighting of a two-legged skating Bison in jeans with a bucket of pucks.  This kind of thing happens all the time in the world of ice hockey.  However, a four-legged skating pantomime Bison would be really impressive and I hope they can work on this before my next visit.
The drama unfolds
I am gradually getting to grips with this sport although some of the reasons for the stoppages and penalties elude me as yet.  I do know that if one player is off the ice because of a penalty, and there are 5 skaters v 4 (excluding netminders) for two minutes, this is called a powerplay.  If there is a score, then the penalised team is restored to full strength.  My first clip caught an example of this, the game’s first goal as Jets took the lead.  0-1

The pass is from Doug Sheppard, and the scorer is Darius Pliskauskas with just over 7 minutes gone.  Nicky Chinn was the Bison in the sinbin, for “icing”, whatever that is.  The match was pretty even – with 7m49 left in the period Slough netminder Gregg Rockman made a great stop from a one-on-one break, Chinn took a different penalty (for hooking) and then there was a flashpoint behind the net that sent one player from each side for two minutes of quiet contemplation.  Ryan Watt (Jets) and Tony Redmond (Bison) were the guilty slashing parties, with the former getting two further minutes for the initial trip.  The equaliser came from the powerplay with less than 3m to go in the period.  Joe Miller scored from an acute angle and the score was deserved on the balance of play.  There was time for Chinn to fit in his third penalty of the evening and he used his two minutes to stick pins into a model of the referee.  At least that’s what I assume.  1-1 at the end of the first period

Ryan Watt put Jets back into the lead after a minute of the second period, assisted by Dan Davies.  1-2

With the clock showing 15m42s left of the period, Plinkauskas was the next person to create a powerplay opportunity for the other side.  The call was cross-checking, but I couldn’t distinguish it myself from tripping, hooking or pontificating.  I suppose these officials know what they are doing.  Within seconds the scores were level.  It has been credited to Daniel Volrab but it was an unusual goal in that his shot was deflected up and over the netminder in a gentle loop before dropping behind the line.  2-2

Three minutes later Bison lost the puck in … right midfield, midrink, midcourt, whatever … and Watt sped away with it and passed to Pliskauskas, who finished neatly with a powerful shot across netminder Stephen Wall.  2-3

After two minutes of 4-on-4 (slashing again, I am told) Bison equalised.  Even I could appreciate the timing and pace of Viktor Kubenko’s pass inside the defence to Tony Redmond who duly finished.  Six minutes to go in the period.  3-3

Here’s a clip, which opens with Rockman’s third save in quick succession as Bison pressed, and ends with 1m20s on the clock.  3-3 at the end of the second period

At some point after the end-of-period buzzer, another penalty was called against each side.  Roughing and high sticks respectively.  Pliskaskas got out in time to assist Watt to give Jets the lead yet again with 14m28s to go.  3-4

With six minutes left, and seconds after I had stopped filming, Marcel Petran smacked in a shot from distance for the fourth equaliser of the night.  4-4

Here is some third period action in two clips.  The period ended with Bison on the attack, frequent restarts, and Dan Davies bizarrely getting a penalty with five seconds left that would give Bison a powerplay for the start of overtime.  4-4 at the end of the third period

As it happens, Jets saw that powerplay out easily enough.  Here’s a clip from the 5 minutes of overtime.  Bison had the better of the territorial stats but no-one could find a goal.  4-4 at the end of overtime

I accidentally pressed stop so my coverage of the shootout is split across two clips.  Bison win on penalties

People that know about these things gave the honours to Kurt Reynolds (Bison) and Ryan Watt (Jets).
A snippet from the programme

From The Newcomers Guide to Ice Hockey (Thank you!)

“The puck must enter the attack zone (beyond the blue line) ahead of any of the attacking players.  It’s really as simple as that.”

I watched an entire game without realising there was any kind of rule of this type at all, so that’s progress for me.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for any announcements.

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