It took penalty shots to get the job done, but Basingstoke Bison made it back to back four-point weekends after narrowly beating Bracknell Bees on Sunday.
The National Cup fixture was evenly matched throughout, but Bison came out on top of a tense shootout battle to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.
It came after a more straightforward 5-2 victory at home to Streatham Redhawks in the league to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Saturday’s game against Streatham saw Bison get off to a fast start, and inside the opening 10 minutes they were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Vanya Antonov and Ashley Jackson.
They added two more before the end of a dominant opening period, with Tomas Karpov and new recruit Roman Malinik getting in on the action.
Streatham pulled a couple back in a quick spell in the second period, although Aaron Connolly managed to score Bison fifth on 34 minutes.
There wouldn’t be any more scoring in the rest of the game however, and Bison’s efforts in the first period allowed them to see out a comfortable win.
Sunday’s match with the Bees was a much tighter affair, although Bison were again the first to score as Ryan Sutton found the back of the net on 12:57.
Dan Scott put Bison 2-0 up soon after, but the Bees fought back and just over a minute later were level thanks to goals from Frankie Bakrlik and Jared Lane.
Bakrlik put the Bees in front on 34:28, before Josh Smith got Basingstoke level with 30 seconds of the period remaining.
Once more the Bees moved ahead courtesy of a Shaun Thompson strike on the powerplay, but again Bison pegged them back as Smith netted his second on 54:59.
The third period ended with the score at 4-4 and after extra time failed to separate the two teams, the match went to penalties.
After a couple of early misses for Bison it was up to netminder Dean Skinns to keep out Bakrlik’s shot, which he did and Malinik then scored to send the tie into sudden death.
After a goal and a miss for each side, Smith netted again and Skinns denied Jan Bendik to earn Bison victory.
Head coach Doug Sheppard said: “Another four point weekend and we’re happier this time because Sunday’s result to secure the points took a lot of character.
“It’s our first win of the season where we’ve had to battle back from being behind and twice we did it.
“Josh Smith had a huge weekend. He netted four times in the game, twice in regulation time and twice under pressure in the shootout.
“I’m proud of how we’ve responded to an indifferent start to the season. When it matters, the guys have stepped up, dug their heels in and are getting the job done.”
Bison have just one game this weekend, with a visit to Streatham in the league on Sunday evening.