BRACKNELL Bees were beaten by Swindon Wildcats on Sunday in a penalty shoot-out for the second time this year, writes Dave Wright.

It was all-square at 5-5 at the end of overtime, but the Wildcats shaded the penalties 2-1, as they had at Bracknell last month.

And the two clubs meet again at The Hive next Sunday with every chance it will be as exciting and eventful, maybe even as bloody, as last weekend’s encounter in Wiltshire.

The blood spilt came from the head of Bees forward James Galazzi following a fight in the middle of the rink with Kyle Smith which left him nursing a nasty looking wound.

The seat in the Bracknell sin-bin had been warmed from an early stage with Matt Foord and David Gaborcik penalised inside the opening six minutes.

Yet, by then Bees had opened up a 2-0 lead through Carl Thompson in the second minute and Alex Barker just over a minute later.

Wildcats called a time-out to re-organise and it looked a worthwhile move as Robin Kovar (11.17) and Tomasz Malasinski brought the scores level by the end of the opening period.

Bees regained the lead midway through the second period when, after a quick break out of defence, Galazzi teed up Barker, who scored at the second attempt as the puck came back off Stevie Lyle.

Once again, the visitors could not maintain their advantage with Steve Whitfield equalising on 28:36.

The game was then held up to allow Galazzi and Smith to square up to each other, soon after the Bracknell man had returned to the ice after two minutes in the sin-bin for a charging offence.

With Galazzi being treated for this head wound, Bees fell behind for the first time on the night when Kovar hammered a superb shot over the shoulder of Alex Mettam to make it 4-3 with just over 32 minutes gone.

But it did not take them long to get back on level terms thanks to Shaun Thompson with Barker providing the assist for the second time.

There were close misses at both ends of the rink before Thompson struck again on 44:01 with Basic and Harvey Stead creating the opening, as they had for Barker’s earlier goal.

Bracknell battled hard to maintain their lead, but were unable to do so with Toms Rutkis making it 5-5 on 53:18 after seeing his initial shot saved by Mettam.

In all, the Bees net-minder faced 39 shots, two more than his opposite number, Lyle.

With less than two minutes of regulation time remaining, Bees had Josh Tetlow ejected from the game for a butt-ending offence.

Neither side was able to secure victory in overtime, which saw Bees down to three men for a time due to Tetlow’s earlier offence.

In the shoot-out, only Shaun Thompson managed to beat Lyle, leaving Jonas Hoog and Kovar to seal victory for the Wildcats.

Alex Barker was Bees’ man of the match.

“It was unfortunate to lose again in the shoot-out, as we produced a good all-round performance,” said player-coach Lukas Smital.

“We had a great start and stuck with our game plan throughout the 60 minutes.

“Our penalty kill was very strong and we capitalised on our chances. We were really good in doing little things.”

Bottom-of-the-table Bees are now 10 points adrift of eighth-placed Sheffield Steeldogs, who defeated Guildford Flames 5-4 on Sunday.

Bracknell visit third-placed Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday (7pm) before the home encounter with Swindon, who lie seventh, on Sunday (6pm).