LIGHTNING bounced back after the disappointment of a 2-0 defeat at The Hangar on Saturday night to stage a fantastic fightback and take maximum points from Sheffield Steeldogs 24 hours later.
Lightning twice came from behind to equalise with less than six minutes of regulation time remaining and force overtime at IceSheffield.
When the extra five minutes failed to separate the sides, it was down to a penalty shootout, with the visitors emerging victorious thanks to captain Adam Carr as Lightning hold on to third place in the English Premier League.
Both Steeldogs and Lightning’s Blaz Emersic registered with the first penalty shots but the following two failed to find the mark – Kamil Tvrdek missing for MK. When the hosts failed to convert the third shot, Carr responded to net the winner.
In a largely uneventful first period it was Steeldogs who forged ahead with Craig Elliott setting up Ashley Calvert to score on 15mins 26secs.
Just 2mins 48secs of the middle period had elapsed when Grant McPherson engaged in battle with Steeldogs’ player coach Andre Payette – probably a spill over from an incident which occurred at the Coventry play-offs last season. Payette won the bout but both received an equal penalty for roughing – a total of four minutes in the sin bin.
Sheffield had two players sent to the penalty box in quick succession – Stuart Brittle for slashing and Pavel Gomeniuk for boarding – giving Lightning a five on three powerplay from which they were unable to capitalise.
They did better though when short handed a little while after – Chris Wiggins going for hooking – as Adam Brittle netted unassisted at 28mins 19secs.
Steeldogs’ response was rapid with Ben Morgan, from Edgars Bebris, scoring on the powerplay at 28mins 55secs. Two more powerplay chances for Lightning before the break failed to produce an equaliser.
It was not until McPherson supplied Nick Poole that the leveller came on 54mins 4secs, enough to ensure the five minutes extra period which ultimately failed to separate the outfits.
A day earlier more than half the game had been played before Slough Jets edged in front while they were on a five on three powerplay – McPherson sitting out a slashing penalty and Emersic also in the sin bin for a high stick.
It was former Lightning man Mindy Kieras that got the goal at 31mins 14secs, assisted by Darius Pliskauskas and another ex-MK player, Slava Koulikov.
Minutes earlier Wiggins and Adam Greener had staged an encore of the bout they staged in the previous Wednesday’s game at Planet Ice. Again Wiggins was the victor with both serving four minutes for roughing.
The third period was only 2mins 2secs old when another former long time Lightning servant Matt Towalski inflicted more misery on his old side when he came straight out of the penalty box to take Kieras pass and score.
From then on Jets were able to hold on to their lead, despite having to defend a six on four short handed spell with Lightning having withdrawn their netminder, Alex Mettam, for the final 16 seconds.