Five-star Bracknell Bees end winless run with a superb comebackBy Lewis Rudd
November 22, 2012
Bracknell Bees overcame a four goal deficit for the second time this season as a run of three EPIHL defeats was ended with a stunning 5-4 victory at Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday night.
Two goals apiece from Lukas Smital and Marcel Petran during the second period levelled up the scoring after the hosts racked up four unanswered goals during seven minutes of a feisty first period.
And being no strangers to shock comebacks, having fought back from 5-1 down to win 6-5 at Guildford Flames earlier this season, Bees then took the lead when Matt Foord pounced on a Scott Spearing effort with just six minutes of regular time remaining.
The win moves the side back up to fifth in the EPIHL standings, where they remain firmly in the mix to compete for one of the eight play-off spots at the end of the season.
Having suffered a 3-1 defeat to leaders Basingstoke Bison 24 hours earlier, the Bees looked to be heading for a second winless weekend in succession when a Peterborough side, short-handed by the five minute sin-bin handed to Jozef Sladok, made a mockery of the visiting powerplay unit.
A bad tempered opening 20 minutes then saw James Galazzi given his marching orders having received two 10 minute misconduct penalties.
But what Gareth Cox’s men lacked in the first period, they more than made up for in the second as the fighting spirit the side has regularly shown this season came to the fore.
Outshooting the hosts by 18 to 6, Smital started the fightback on 28:03 when he fired a Ben Johnson pass beyond Phantoms netminder Damien King. Marcel Petran then thumped home a powerplay slap-shot from the right side of the circle on 30:46 to reduce the defecit.
The strike was the D-man’s fourth goal in his last six matches.
He then grabbed his 10th goal of the campaign two minutes later when he smashed a Smital saucer pass beyond King on the powerplay.
Having then lost former Bee Tom Carlon for the night after receiving a second 10-minute misconduct call from referee Roman Szucs, Peterborough saw their lead wiped out when Smital turned home a Rob Lamey pass on 35:41.
The third period failed to live up to the goal scoring antics witnessed during the opening 40 minutes, but it was never short of action.
With Petran and Thompson keeping the penalty box warm, those left on the ice defended doggedly to kill the accompanying penalty minutes, with Carl Ambler performing heroics between the pipes to prevent the Phantoms from grabbing a fifth during a dangerous five-on-three advantage.
And their resolve was rewarded when a Spearing shot rebounded off the boards into the direction of Foord, who sent the puck into the roof off the net to secure another memorable success for Bees on the road this season.
The efforts in Cambridgeshire certainly went someway to eradicate the frustration endured the night before, when Berkshire rivals Basingstoke Bison left The Hive with the points following a 3-1 success.
The league leaders took the lead within the first 30 seconds.
Bees then encamped themselves in the Bison zone, but a stream of efforts and powerplays failed to yield an equaliser.
However, the scores were levelled two minutes into the third period when Galazzi found the net with a curling backhand effort. But Bees fell behind 16 seconds later when former Hive favouite Jaroslav Cesky silenced the home supporters.
He then grabbed a second five minutes later as the visitors wrapped up the win.
Bees will be keen to avenge the defeat when they travel to Basingstoke this Saturday (6.30pm), before welcoming Milton Keynes Lightning to The Hive on Sunday (6pm).
Bracknell Bees 1 Basingstoke Bison 3. Period: 0-1, 0-0, 1-2. SOG: 28-23. PIM: 10-12. Bees: Galazzi 1+0, Munroe 0+1, Spearing 0+1. Bison: Sheppard 1+1, Cesky 2+0, Redmond 0+3, Chambers 0+1, Rand 0+1.