JAN 01] COVENTRY BLAZE NEWS
Basingstoke Bison 3
of vitriol, anger and disbelief echoed around the Skydome Arena
after two outrageous refereeing decisions sank Coventry Blaze's
chances of winning the title.
Paul Thompson and a player from each side were thrown out of the game as Basingstoke Bison were
given an ill-deserved and unjustifiable winner with just 30 seconds
left on the clock.
the Bison piled on the pressure on the Blaze goal with overtime
looming, net minder Henrik Sjodin caught the puck. He and all the
other Blaze players came to a halt having apparently heard a
whistle, and Sjodin dropped the puck to the ice.
the Bison payers kept on playing and Rich Little scored the winning goal.
protests led to a lengthy delay, but referee Cloutman insisted that
the goal should stand, making the score 2-3.
was sickening for the Blaze, who needed a victory to keep in touch
with the title after yet another loss on Saturday at Guildford
made it more galling was that the Blaze had a superb goal disallowed
in the second period after the Bison players also claimed they had
heard a whistle.
Shewan's quick break had left most of the Bison players stranded at
the other end of the rink, and his inch perfect cross to Tom Watkins
had the crowd on its feet, the 2,301 people believing they had seen
the Blaze take a 2-1 lead.
started when referee Cloutman ruled the goal out. A minute later the
same "whistle" was heard again - it turned out to be a
small girl screaming near the Bison goal.
Kelham put the Blaze in front in the third period, only for Bison
to equalise in the dying seconds of a power play through Ellis.
the decision to let the Bison's third goal stand prompted mayhem on
Paul Thompson was sent off after he hurled a water bottle onto the
rink, and with six seconds remaining new signing Stephen Cooper
started a major fracas behind the Bison net. He got the better of
his dust up with O'Connell, but was sent to the penalty box.
Tasker followed, and then seemed to be ejected from the game as
arguments raged for several minutes more.
boos and choruses of "cheat" raining onto the ice, the
usual after-match pleasantries did not take place, and the Bison
left the arena looking slightly sheepish.
referring at nearly every face-off had spoiled the game throughout,
and added tension to a tight game.
shot by Shaun Johnson had given the Blaze the lead while
short-handed on a power when the puck fizzled under the visitor's
theatrical net-minder. The lead was short-lived as Clark pulled one
back, but the one-all
scoreline at the end of the first period gave no sense of the drama
that would follow.
scores : 0-0/1-1/1-2
minutes : 55-44
on goal : 27-16
: Dave Cloutman
: Johnson 1+0; Kelham 1+0; Dumas 0+1; Pease 0+1.
Net - Sjodin 16/3
: Clark 1+0; Ellis 1+0; Little 1+0; Andersson 0+1; Mason 0+1; Meyers
0+1; O’Connell 0+1. Foster