BASINGSTOKE, UK – The Bison returned to winning ways as EPL league leaders Guildford Flames were put to the sword, beating them 6-4.
In the opening twenty minutes, it looked like the local rivals would go in at the break level at 0-0.
The Bison then added a fourth from Joe Greener and the game looked all over.
Guildford swapped their netminders, with James Hadfield who recorded a shutout the following night against Milton Keynes, hooked for Mark Lee.
The Flames pulled a goal back on the power play from Tom Duggan, as Bison goalie Dean Skinns was beaten at the Basingstoke Arena for the first time in 170 minutes and one second – new club record.
David Longstaff doubled the Guildford tally, but an individual strike from Andy Melachrino made sure the home side maintained their three-goal cushion.
In the final period, the Flames looked to have set-up a grandstand finish as Jozef Kohut and Longstaff scored to reduce the arrears to one goal.
However, the Bison had other ideas and 42 seconds later, Aaron Connolly made sure the home side won the contest.
It now means Guildford have won just once in nine visits to Basingstoke, but being minus imports Curtis Huppe and Marcus Kristoffersson as well as defenseman Ricky Skene and Jez Lundin, they had some kind of excuse.
“It was a massive win for us tonight as it was our only game of the weekend,” said Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard. “It was a good team performance and one we will want to build on in the coming weeks.”
This weekend, the Bison entertain the Telford Tigers looking to complete a series victory over their Shropshire rivals having already beaten them three times this season in the six-match series.
It was a real penalty filled encounter when these sides faced each other in Basingstoke last time and it could well be the same again this time around.
On Sunday, the Bison make the short trip to Guildford and again will be looking to take the series over their local rivals as they lead them 3-1, with two road games to come.
A four-point weekend is what the Herd will be looking for to close up the top-of-the-table even more.
Contact the author Graham.Merry@Prohockeynews.com