Once again Basingstoke Bison picked up a win and a defeat for their efforts over the weekend as their mixed start to the season continued.
They lost 5-2 away at Swindon Wildcats on Saturday, before bouncing back with a 3-1 win at home against the Sheffield Steeldogs.
Both were cup games, starting with the National Cup fixture against the Wildcats on Saturday.
It was a goalless first period as the two sides shared 18 shots between them, but were unable to break the deadlock.
Neil Liddiard scored first for Swindon on 25:25, before Bison’s Vanya Antonov levelled things up four minutes later on the powerplay.
Dan Scott then put Bison ahead, only for Aaron Nell to pull the Wildcats level going into the final period.
And despite keeping up with the Wildcats so far, Bison fell away in the final 20 minutes as Nell netted his second 48 seconds into the restart to give Swindon the lead.
Two more goals followed from Luc Johnson and Max Birbraer, while Bison couldn’t convert any of their five shots.
It means that Bison are third in Group D of the National Cup with two points after 13 games, behind unbeaten Wildcats and Telford Tigers.
However their Autumn Trophy campaign got off to a flying start as they beat Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.
Tomas Karpov scored an unassisted marker after just seven seconds, and had the puck in the back of the net again before the end of the first minute but this one was chalked off due to a high stick.
Captain Aaron Connolly grabbed Bison’s second on the powerplay early into the second period, before Jaroslav Cesky netted the third at 28:12.
The Steeldogs pulled one back in the final period as Ashley Calvert scored a delayed penalty goal, but there was no further scoring as Bison secured the win.
Head coach Doug Sheppard said: “Over the last two weekends we’ve played two great games and two less than satisfactory games.
“We need to build on the positives, get off the roller coaster and get on a good run.
“Our highs right now are really high, our lows are too low and we need to work on levelling things out and putting in consistent performances and earning positive results.”
Two more cup games beckon this weekend. Bison host Bracknell Bees in the National Cup on Saturday, before travelling to face the Steeldogs again in the Autumn Trophy on Sunday.