Smital strikes late to keep Bracknell Bees flying highBy Lewis Rudd
November 07, 2012
Bracknell Bees are up to the dizzy heights of third in the EPIHL table after recording their fourth double-winning weekend of the season with victories over Telford Tigers and Guildford Flames.
Bees avenged the 5-4 penalty loss to the Tigers the previous weekend with a 5-3 win in Shropshire on Saturday night before edging the Flames 4-3 courtesy of a late Lukas Smital strike at The Hive 24 hours later.
Looking to bounce back from successive defeats, Bracknell raced into a 4-1 lead at Telford Ice Rink going into the third period.
Assistant coach Smital opened the scoring in just the second minute following good build-up work from Marcel Petran and Rob Lamey.
The visitors continued to dominate, but were unable to add to their lead until 10 minutes into the second period, when Grant Rounding deflected a Petran effort past Tigers goaltender Declan Ryan.
Patrick Greene replied for the hosts less then a minute later, but, the two-goal cushion was quickly restored when replacement Alan Lack fired home a Martin Masa shot on the rebound on 33.30.
Lamey then got on the scoresheet when he squeezed home a loose puck on 37.48, with Smital claiming the assist.
Bees appeared to be cruising with 20 minutes to play, but a defensive error on a powerplay proved costly, as James Preece broke away to reduce the deficit.
But Matt Foord and Rounding combined to set up Shaun Thompson, who put the result beyond any doubt.
Tigers did grab a third through Elliott Knell with little over a minute left, but Bees ran down the clock to secure their eight win of the campaign.
Bees then went into the game with Guildford looking to record a second straight win over the opponents.
The fixture also saw the four-man system of officials introduced to The Hive for the first time.
And they were soon recording a goal as James Galazzi diverted Lack’s slapshot beyond the reach of the goaltender in the third minute.
The Flames then took the game to their opponents, but were soon 2-0 down as Masa despatched a ferocious shot past Lee.
Rick Plant pulled a goal back two minutes later and then levelled the scores – when the visitors were a man short – six minutes into the second period.
Bees’ appeared to be fading, but they came out revitalised for the final 20 minutes. And they regained the lead when Thompson released Ollie Bronnimann to score his first goal of the season with a wrist shot.
Twelve minutes passed before the Surrey outfit equalised in bizarre circumstances. A dumped puck between Jozef Kohut and Curtis Huppe rebounded of the end boards, which fell to David Longstaff, who fired home with six minutes left.
Then, in the final minute, the experienced Smital’s deflected shot trickled over the line to secure victory.