They often say start as you mean to go on. Well, if that’s the case then the McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets fans are in for a treat in this decade.
The first game of the new year brought local rivals the Slough Jets to The Hive for their first visit of the season. Their most recent encounter was on opening night, a night Hornets fans won’t want to remember in a hurry.
Somehow, Harvey Hind-Pitcher managed to pick up a ten minute misconduct penalty before the game had even started. Memories of opening night were really starting to rear their ugly heads now.
The Hornets fielded a strong side and welcomed back Michael Stratford to the line-up after his time out through injury. Stratford found himself contributing from very early on, providing an assist on the first goal of the game score by Hornets leading scorer, Steve Osman.
Ten minutes in and the Hornets seemed comfortable in this game. While being out shot, Matt Croyle never really looked like being beaten and was dialled in from early on. Heavily out shot, the Hornets went into the first intermission ahead by one.
One of the things the Hornets have struggled with so far this season, is being switched on right from puck drop at the start of the second period. They had no such issues this time, in fact, they had the opposite.
Just over five minutes in, Jets player Stewart Tait was given a minor penalty for holding. Connor Hutchinson would take full advantage of the upcoming power play, doubling the Hornets lead but putting one top shelf on Brett Shepherd.
Two goals would soon become three when Stratford secured the perfect return to the team by capping off a stellar performance with a goal. All this, before it slowly started to fall apart for the Hornets, starting with the Harry Harcup goal for the Jets to bring them to life.
Going into the third period, the Jets managed to claw themselves back in to the game. Ryan Handisides brought the Jets to within one and I’d be surprised if Hornets fans weren’t a little nervous about what was in store.
Then, with around two and a half minutes remaining, the Hornets picked up a costly holding penalty that would put the Jets on the power play for pretty much the rest of the game. The Jets coach saw this as the perfect opportunity to pull Shepherd, giving the Jets a two man advantage on the ice. They struck gold on the power play when Sam Talbot’s shot made its way past Croyle, tying up the game.
So we went to overtime for the first time at The Hive this season. Up to this point, the Hornets had only been to overtime once and we all remember how that ended, right?
There’s nothing better than an overtime winner at home. Dom Hopkins was the hero for the Hornets. His overtime goal gave them their first win of 2020 and a very solid platform to build on ahead of the visit from Streatham IHC.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
08:58 Steve Osman, assisted by Michael Stratford
25:26 Connor Hutchinson, assisted by Steve Osman & Matt Foord
27:10 Michael Stratford, assisted by Steve Osman
62:37 Dom Hopkins, assisted by Michael Stratford & Steve Osman
Slough Jets goals:
29:29 Harry Harcup, assisted by Adam Rosbottom & Luke Reynolds
44:37 Ryan Handisides, assisted by Tom Fisher & Harry Harcup
58:50 Sam Talbot, assisted by Timo Lindgren & Daniel Rose