The Bees swarm back into a playoffs position after an incredible doubleheader weekend against the Sheffield Steeldogs after two battles that left both sides fighting until the end of both games.
Bees IHC 5-3 Sheffield Steeldogs
A sense of desperation in the air for both teams as a playoff spot insight for the Bees and a chance to equal the Bees on points for the Steeldogs to keep their playoffs dreams alive. With a lot on the line for both sides a fast pace start for the Bees saw them able to test Dimitri Zimozdra as well as a penalty that went against Jonathan Phillips for the Steeldogs due to Tripping. At 10:55, Vanya Antonov slotted the puck to the back of the net to give the Bees the lead with assists awarded to Dominik Gabaj and Marcel Balaz but was shortly followed by a penalty against Gianni Vitali for Hooking. This did not stop Marcel Balaz from getting a taste of success with his own short-handed goal at 15:06 after receiving an assist on the first goal with an assist on Marcel Balaz’s goal awarded to Liam Morris.
The Bees entered the second period with a 2 goal advantage against the Steeldogs but only 30 seconds after puck drop in the second period James Spurrn was able to end the silence from Sheffield in the first 20 minutes with Matt Bissonnette and Jonathan Philips. This saw a new burst of energy from the Steeldogs and at 25:29 Matt Bissonnette closed the gap to equalise the game. Even though the Steeldogs were able to equalise, it only took Ed Bradley 11 seconds to regain the lead for the Bees with the assistance of Will Stead and Liam Morris. Penalties were distributed to both sides but both the Bees and Sheffield were able to successfully kill both but it did not take long for another equalising goal to come from Matt Bissonnette to tie the game 3-3 and that goal saw the second period end 3 a piece.
A big period ahead for both teams as the points were reachable for both sides but it only took 1 minute into the third and final period to steal the lead again with help from Dominik Gabaj and Vanya Antonov. A few more penalties were given to both sides that saw Bees Liam Morris face a 5 minute Major as well as Brendan Baird and Cameron Brownley both face 2 minutes for Slashing. After both teams returned to full strength Marcel Balaz secured his hat trick on the night at 54:48 as well as the 2 points for the Bees with Liam Morris and Vanya Antonov.
Sheffield Steeldogs 3-4 Bees IHC (After overtime)
A very defensive start to the game for both sides with the Bees being able to push into the Steeldogs’ defensive zone to get a few chances on the Dimitri Zimozdra. The Bees were first to get onto the scoreboard as Zaine McKenzie got his first goal since being back at the Bees at 12:22 with Dan Rose and Brendan Baird assisting on the goal. However it did not take long for James Spurr to equalise the game for the Steeldogs with Matt Bissonnette receiving an assist on the goal. This left the first period ending 1-1 with the shots on goal being pretty even after Brython Preece faced a total of 11 shots on goal and Dimitri Zimozdra faced 10 shots on goal.
The Bees entered the second period a man down due to a penalty called against Marcel Balaz towards the end of the first period for Holding, but Sheffield were unable to capitalise on the man advantage they found themselves with. Some great defensive plays came from Will Stead and Stuart Mogg to stop the Steeldogs from making it down the ice to try to test Brython Preece in goal for the Bees. A chance for Gianni Vitali saw the Bees once again take the lead on the night at 29:02 with Ed Bradley receiving an assist on the goal. Shortly after a penalty called against the Bees saw Sheffield have the chance to equalise the game yet again but after multiple chances in the Bees defensive zone the score remained in favour of the Bees and their lead. Just before the period could end, Vlads Vulkanovs managed to just tip the puck into the back of the Bees goal with only 5 seconds left in the period to see the second end 2-2.
The Steeldogs came out determined to learn from their mistakes on the previous night in Slough and try to take an early lead in the third period and with the help from Jonathan Phillips they were able to do exactly that at only 40:51. This left the Bees chasing the Steeldogs throughout the remainder of the remaining time in the period. Then at 56:18, Jack Brammer found himself faced with a High Sticks penalty that gave the Bees the perfect opportunity to push for an equalising goal and at 57:53 Dominik Gabaj helped secure 1 point for the Bees and forced Sheffield into overtime with the help of Gianni Vitali and Ed Bradley. It did not take long for the Bees to secure the 2 points in overtime as Marcel Balaz made the original shot to try and secure the points. But with a rebound off Dimitri Zimozdra and the puck loose in front of the Steeldogs’ goal Marcel Balaz managed to poke his stick around Dimitri Zimozdra to slot the puck to the back of the goal, securing the 2 points for the Bees and a 4 point weekend only 29 seconds into overtime.