Former Bison man's triumphant return

Basingstoke Bison 0, Nottingham Panthers 3

FORMER Basingstoke hero Curtis Cruickshank had a triumphant return to his old stomping ground on Sunday night.

He recorded a shut-out for his new team the Nottingham Panthers as they completed a weekend double over the Bison.

The performance on home ice was a lot better than the previous night, even if the Bison were without defenceman Duncan Dalmao, out of action due to a head injury.

The first period looked like it would end goalless until Scott Ricci, with a blue-line shot, opened the scoring at 12:57.

Just 15 seconds later, Doug Sheppard had a great chance to equalise, but the puck bounced over his stick.

The visitors looked to have scored a second as John Craighead forced the puck home, but the net had come off its moorings and the goal was disallowed.

The Panthers forward made amends within a minute as his blue-line shot was deflected past Ronnie Vogel in the home net by David Clarke at 28:36.

With the Bison shorthanded with Owen Walter in the sin bin, a stray clearance from Cruickshank hit the stick of Tony Redmond and went into the side netting at 34:32.

A minute later, Nottingham made it 3-0 as Mark Cadotte was allowed to skate in from the boards to find Konstantin Kalmikov to tap in at the far post.

The final period saw Corey fire just wide and then Bison man-of-the-match Redmond barged his way down the centre and forced Cruickshank to save.

Nottingham responded with a great passing move involving Kim Ahlroos and Marek Ivan, which saw Ivan fail to get the final telling touch.

At 52:16, Redmond was sent crashing into the boards behind the visitors goal by Panthers giant Steve McKenna.

Referee Hicks, having done well to only call two penalties all night on Nottingham, once again let the incident pass.

The game restarted, but Bison boss Mark Bernard on the bench was incensed.

The Bison carried on trying to break Cruickshank's shut-out, but they were unable to do so as he turned away all 31 shots that he faced.

Scoring: Panthers: Clarke, Ricci, Kalmikov 1+0, Ahlroos, Myers, Wojciak, Cadotte, Ivan, Craighead 0+1. Shots on Goal: Vogel 39, Cruickshank 31. Penalties: Bison 34mins Panthers 4min.