Basingstoke Bison finally managed to put together a four-point weekend as they won against Invicta Dynamos and London Raiders 5-3 and 7-1 respectively.
After a run of cup games which saw some mixed results, The Herd made a victorious return to league action to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Saturday’s game at home to the Raiders saw a dominant performance from Bison, and right from the start they were the stronger team.
The pressure soon paid off as Bison opened their account on 10:47, as Ashley Jackson tipped home Tomas Karpov’s feed on the powerplay.
Within four minutes it was 2-0 as Vanya Antonov slotted the puck through the five-hole after the Raiders’ defence had been drawn out of position.
Before the end of the first period Bison would add their third, with Karpov getting on the scoresheet as he shot into an open net.
The Raiders had a better start to the second period, but it would be Bison who would score again as Aaron Connolly fired in from a Jaroslav Cesky feed.
No more goals would come in the second period, giving Bison a healthy four-goal advantage going into the final 20 minutes.
Disaster struck the Raiders in the 44th minute as their keeper Euan King went down after a save and suffered an MCL sprain, and had to be taken off.
This left Raiders’ captain Tom Davis having to fill his place, and as a result Bison were able to score three more goals through Connolly, Antonov and Jackson, while the Raiders were able to get a consolation effort from Marek Nahlik.
Sunday’s game was a closer affair, but Bison were able to record a 5-3 win over the Dyanmos away from home.
Things didn’t get off to a good start for the Herd though, as they conceded after just 38 seconds.
It didn’t take them long to restore parity as Karpov scored following an exchange of penalties, before Connolly gave Bison a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.
Both teams scored a goal in the second period – Bison’s coming from Dan Scott – to set up a tense ending to the match.
Karpov got the next one but almost immediately the Dynamos hit back to keep the margin to a single goal.
But on 51:38 Antonov scored Bison’s fifth on the powerplay to give the Basingstoke side their first double win of the season.
Head coach Doug Sheppard said: “We’re all feeling good after recording our first four-point weekend of the season.
“We played hard all weekend, battled strong and competed at full intensity across the 120 minutes.
“We have to build from this going forward and keep doing the little things right.
“Hopefully we can play like this again next weekend too and from here on.”
The results put Bison fifth in the league with six points, although they have played up to five league games less than their opponents and are one of just two unbeaten sides.
Bison have another league game at home to Streatham Redskins this Saturday, before travelling to Bracknell Bees on Sunday for their next National Cup fixture.