Monday, 2 April 2012

Bees Wane in Berkshire

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 1 April 2012 at The Hive (John Nike Leisure Complex), Bracknell
Bracknell Bees 3 Swindon Wildcats 7
English Premier League
#5 on the rinkhopping list
This match in one sentence
Wildcats took early control of this must-win match for the Bees, and the result was only in doubt for a few minutes of the second period
So what?
Bracknell Bees are pipped for the eighth and last playoff spot by Peterborough Phantoms’ better end-of-season results; Swindon Wildcats will play Manchester Phoenix.
Something random
The Zamboni goes clockwise (see previous posts tagged with “ice hockey”) giving another confirming instance to my theory that there is a net Coriolis force, caused by the rotation of the earth, which tends to push the Zamboni to the left as it moves forward on the near-frictionless surface and therefore Dave the driver goes that way in the northern hemisphere.  It’s the same reason that anticyclones spin in that direction.  For all you know, I am being serious.
The drama unfolds
The match started with Bracknell needing to win and hope that Peterborough lost at Manchester.  They would then sneak back into the eighth place that they had slipped out of in recent weeks.  However, it was only the third minute of the contest when Loris Taylor scored to give the lead to the visitors.  0-1

Bees then had a powerplay … a Wildcat was given a two minute rest for something or other (I still don’t understand all these penalties).  There had definitely been an exchange of words and a raising of hands so I’m guessing it was for keeping the glove on while smacking an opponent’s nose.  Here’s the clip to set the scene, and Bees fail to make their numerical advantage count for anything.  Swindon (just like Swindon Town and Swindon Supermarine) are in red.  It really was very subdued.

Just after the halfway point in the first period, things went from bad to worse as first Aaron Nell and then Taylor again got on the scoresheet.  Taylor’s goal was sweet – he cut inside from the right and flicked it neatly into the top corner.  0-2 & 0-3

Wildcats finished the period with a double penalty and 6v4 including netminders.  No idea why, probably something to do with those big sticks they all carry.  Here’s a clip showing nothing much happening.  At some point about now, Bees changed their netminder.  Whether this was for sentimental, tactical, physical or random reasons I will never know.  0-3 at the end of the first period

I also filmed the start of the second period, given that it would be essential for Bees to start well in the carried-forward powerplay.  Rob Larney obliged with the first goal.  1-3

The game got interesting four minutes later as Peter Jasik tapped in.  Bees were playing with a lot more drive and effectiveness and it was now game on with plenty of time to go.  2-3

However, Swindon finished the period strongly with two goals.  The first clip, which finishes with a minute to go, shows Lee Richardson scoring just after a Bees powerplay.  Sorry about the camera angle!  2-4

As the Bees swarmed forward (of course they swarmed forward, what else would Bees do, be fair) and forced two good saves from Tom Murdy, they got caught on the break by Ryan Aldridge.  There were only seconds to go, and the three-goal margin was restored.  What is more, the Bees conceded a penalty on the buzzer meaning they would start the final third a man down.  2-5 at the end of the second period.

News filtered through that Peterborough were level at Manchester until a last minute goal had sent them to defeat.  This added to the frustration of the Bees fans who were seeing their team go down with a whimper.  In a lacklustre third period they conceded goals to Nicky Watt and Nell again, before getting a late consolation from James Galazzi.  It was all an anti-climax unless you were Mr Smug from Swindon.  2-6, 2-7 and 3-7

Martin Masa had the puck in the net and I wrote down 4-7 before noticing that the scoreboard had not changed.  Final score 3-7
What Next?
Not. A. Clue. See @grahamyapp on Twitter for any forthcoming news.

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