BRACKNELL Bees had to make do with three points last weekend, but will still be kicking themselves for not getting the maximum of four for the first time this season, writes Dave Wright.

They enjoyed an outstanding 6-2 win at Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday and looked to be in a good position when leading Sheffield Steeldogs 4-2 with less than eight minutes remaining of Sunday's match at The Hive.

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But two goals in a minute saw the visitors draw level to take the game into overtime, where they grabbed a 5-4 victory thanks to a 'lucky' goal from No. 13 Craig Elliott.

So Bees had to make do with just three points and not the four their two performances deserved.

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Forgetting their drubbing at Milton Keynes, most of the Bees' best displays in recent weeks have come away, with successive wins at Basingstoke and Peterborough.

And it is no coincidence that this improved form has come with the arrival of their Slovakian import, Dominik Gabaj.

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He followed up his goal and assist on his debut against the Bison with two and two at Peterborough, before going on to produce another man-of-the-match performance against Sheffield.

At Peterborough, Gabaj set up the opener for Josh Ealey-Newton in the eighth minute with Harvey Stead doubling the lead after 15 minutes, only for Tom Norton to pull one back for the hosts shortly afterwards.

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The second period followed a similar pattern with Zack Milton and Roman Malinik taking the scoreline to 4-1 before Corey McEwen netted a second for Phantoms just before the second interval.

But that was the last time netminder Adam Goss was to be beaten and two goals from Gabaj in as many minutes, with Zach Milton assisting in both, saw Bracknell run out the comfortable winners against a side they had lost 3-2 at home to a month earlier.

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This must have boosted their confidence going into Sunday's encounter with Sheffield, the first time the two clubs had met this season.

They fell behind to an Alex Graham goal with six minutes gone, but Gabaj did not take long to open Bees' account, only for Greg Wood to restore the lead for the visitors in the 13th minute.

Harvey Stead levelled things up again 37 seconds before the end of the middle period with a power-play goal and Bees still had a man advantage when Gabaj gave them the lead for the first time just 34 seconds into the final period.

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Two minutes later, Brendan Baird made it 4-2 and Bracknell looked well placed to secure a victory.

However, they were punished for giving the puck away deep into their own half, with Vladimir Luka racing away to beat goalie Danny Milton with a power-play goal in the 53rd minute and less than a minute later Elliott made it 4-4.

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Elliot looked disconsolate when he was sent to the sin-bin for a minor offence close to the final buzzer and remained there as the game went into overtime.

However, 21 seconds after returning to the ice he fired home the winner with a shot which bounced up off the ice to deceive Milton.

Normally, that would have got the team's fans cheering, but not on this occasion as the rink's away block looked totally empty.

It was a bitter disappointment for the Bees as they had ample chances to have secured victory, even out-shooting their visitors 35-24.

They will get a quick chance to gain revenge as they travel to Sheffield this coming Sunday (4.30pm) with the home fixture being on Saturday against the Raiders (6.15pm). This could be the weekend when Bees finally make it a win double.

It remains to be seen if Josh Smith will be fit to play both days. After a month out with a groin problem, he made his return at Peterborough, but only managed to get through the first period on Sunday.

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