High flying Bees draw level with Phantoms
BRACKNELL BEES moved level on points with league leaders Peterborough Phantoms after back-to-back wins at the weekend.
Bees stormed past rockbottom Cardiff Fire 8-1 at The Hive on Saturday, with Shaun Thompson netting a hat-trick, before a penalty win at Invicta Dynamos on Sunday to pick up a maximum four points.
The wins move Bracknell level on 20 points with Peterborough, who saw their unbeaten record shattered with defeat to London Raiders on Saturday.
Bees were once again without player-coach Scott Spearing this weekend as he continues to recover from a non-hockey related injury, while Jared Lane was also absent for the visit of Cardiff.
And the hosts got off to the perfect start, moving ahead when Thompson tucked in after just three minutes.
Frankie Bakrlik soon doubled the tally before Josh Ealey-Newman and Steve Osman opened up a four-goal cushion before the end of the first period.
Cardiff netminder Jordan Lawday was doing his best to keep the Bees attack at bay and the second stanza was level with both teams netting once each with Thompson and Jackson Price scoring.
But Fire remain rooted to the foot of the table with 13 losses from 13 after Alex Barker, Thompson and Will Stead all scored in the final period to win 8-1.
However, it proved to be a much tougher evening on Sunday.
Bees needed overtime to find a way past Invicta earlier this campaign and it went all the way to penalties this time around.
Callum Fowler put the home side ahead early on, but Bracknell levelled on five minutes when Bakrlik bundled in.
Both teams netted again before the end of the first with Callum Best putting the visitors ahead before Josh Condren levelled up.
Bracknell looked set for a shock defeat when they fell
4-2 behind during the second period with goals from Condren and Fowler.
Danny Ingoldsby reduced the arrears and Bees forced an extra period with just over two minutes to play as Josh Martin powered in an equaliser.
An exciting overtime spell passed goalless, leading to penalty shots.
Jan Bendik missed, but Thompson and Barker scored to level up at 2-2 after three, meaning Thompson stepped forwards again and clinched the win after Alex Mettam had made a save.
Bees are in vital cup action this weekend, needing results from their double-header with Telford Tigers.
Shaun Thompson netted a hat-trick against Cardiff