Bison 1 Panthers 7

Saturday saw a trip down to Hampshire for a league game with Basingstoke. This trip was about exorcising demons, the last time I went down to watch the Panthers there resulted in a 5-3 loss and exit from the Challenge Cup, I needed to see us win and win well. The £7.99 two course meal deal at the Spruce Goose pub on the same complex had nothing to do with the decision to travel!

Bison were still without injured netminder Kevin Reiter so had Euan King from Peterborough as cover. New signing from Telford Tigers Andre Niec made his debut. Panthers were at full strength.

The first period saw Panthers well on top without really getting out of second gear. Brendan Cook opened the scoring in the 7th minute and Kevin Bergin extended the lead less than a minute later. 2-0 at the end of the first having out shot Bison 13-6, Panthers went into the interval comfortably on top.

Bison came back into the game more in the second, but found Michel Robinson on top form once again. Panthers extended their lead when Juri Golicic scored his first Panthers goal with a smart finish. Bison then pulled one back straight away through Mike Olynyk. Panthers were still well on top and Dan Tessier extended the lead to 4-1 just before the end of the period with a great backhanded finish.

The third saw Panthers stamp their superiority all over the game and also gave some ice time toy the youngsters, Tom Norton impressing in defence. Bruce Richardson made it 5-1 with an easy finish by the side of the net, James Ferrara scored the sixth on the doorstep after King gave up a rebound from Cook’s shot. Cook himself wrapped it up right on the buzzer with a superb shot into the top corner to make the final score 7-1, Dan Tessier received the man of the match award for Panthers.

This was a very professional performance from the Panthers at a venue that has proved difficult in the past. It was a very one sided game but Panthers kept up their dominance for the entire 60 minutes and brushed aside Bison without having to really turn on the style, hopefully there is plenty left in the tank for this afternoon’s game with Hull, another must win game after league leading Sheffield Steelers won both their games this weekend.

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