NEW import Dominik Gabaj has made a tremendous start to his career with Bracknell Bees, scoring in each of his first two games, writes Dave Wright.

The 26-year-old forward from Slovakia inspired Bees to a superb 5-3 win at Basingstoke on Saturday, but his home debut ended in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Swindon Wildcats, although he had the consolation of being voted man-of-the-match. He also provided an assist on both nights.

"He has settled into the team well," commented coach Doug Sheppard.

"It's always nice to see a player walk into a team and start contributing offensively straight away.

"Another bright spot is Josh Ealey-Newman has also done well early on, both have made a difference."

The game against Bison was less than eight minutes old when Gabaj netted his first goal on British ice.

Josh Martin made it 2-0 on 11.26 with a power-play goal and soon afterwards James Galazzi added a third.

Unfortunately, the goals were not easy to see for some Bees fans as their viewing was restricted by condensation on the perspex glass.

The opening five minutes of the middle period produced three goals, with Ashley Tait netting twice for Bison either side of Bees' fourth from Zack Milton.

Liam Morris reduced the arrears for the hosts on 33:53, but another power-play goal, this time from Roman Malinik, their man-of-the-match, restored Bees' two-goal advantage at 49:40.

Bees did well to keep their hosts at bay for the rest of the game, but the final buzzer failed to bring an end to the rivalry between the two clubs with several fights breaking out with players even coming off the bench to get involved.

"These things do happen in a game, but I don't think it was anything malicious on either side," stated Sheppard.

"I am not sure exactly what happened or what started it."

Added to previous offences, Bees finished the evening with a total of 90 penalty minutes with 28 going to James Galazzi and 25 to both Zack Milton and Josh Martin.

Basingstoke received 86 minutes in all, with their fighting duo of Adam Jones and Sam Smith each contributing 25.

Having defeated Hull Pirates the previous Sunday, it was the first time this season the Bees had strung together two successive wins.

But their hopes of making it three in a row were not helped when they conceded a goal to table-topping Swindon with just 81 seconds on the clock, Floyd Taylor the man on target.

Former Bee Tyler Van Kleef doubled the visitors' lead on 21:43 as Bracknell continued to concede soft goals.

However, they fought back well, and a super strike from skipper Stuart Mogg (22.43) and a power-play goal from Gabaj (33:08) brought the scores level.

For a time, they looked the side more likely to win the game, but they failed to take their opportunities on power-play – even five-on-three for a short time in the third period – and were ultimately made to pay.

Stephen Whitfield restored Swindon's lead at 56:10 and, with Bees having withdrawn netminder Danny Milton, Aaron Nell's long-range effort into an empty net at 58:23 made it 4-2 to put the issue beyond doubt.

Sheppard described it as a "definitely disappointing" result, adding: "It was good to get two points on the road and I was hoping we would keep the momentum going and get a four-point weekend. But when you give a team like Swindon a two-goal start it makes it pretty tough.

"We fought back to tie and had plenty of chances to win the game."

Reflecting on recent performances, the coach commented: "We have been playing much better, but we've got to stop giving early goals away. It's got to be 60 minutes of workmanlike mentality.

"We will continue to get better and eventually get that four-point weekend we are after and keep building towards getting better."

Bees are away to Peterborough Phantoms this Saturday (7pm) and home to Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday (5.30pm).

Sheppard concluded: Peterborough is a tough place to go. We have not seen Sheffield yet, but from what I hear they are quite an offensive-minded team, so we will have to be switched on from the start."