Carr crashes Guildford’s party as Lightning double up

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Milton Keynes Lightning notched their second four point weekend of the season with hard earned victories over Guildford Flames and Peterborough Phantoms at the weekend.

The wins lifted the team to sixth place in the table - two weeks previously they were languishing in second from bottom place.

Lightning made a late charge on Saturday to defeat Flames 3-2 at MK Arena and followed up with a 6-5 success at Phantoms the following evening.

Nick Poole’s charges came from behind with less than ten minutes remaining with two goals from captain Adam Carr to take the points against Guildford.

Blaz Emersic put Lightning in front before Flames replied with two quick goals in a fairly even first period. Flames were on top for most of the second session - but they were unable to score.

Their failure to capitalise cost Flames dearly in the final period as Lightning increased the pace with little response from the visitors.

The pressure eventually paid off after Flames’ Danny Meyers was penalised for interference on 49mins 52secs as Petr Horava tried to cross the offensive blue line heading towards goal.

Lightning levelled on the powerplay just 59 seconds later as Horava supplied Adam Carr at the left post to beat goalie James Hadfield.

Soon after Flames’ Owen Fussey’s fierce shot hit netminder Stephen Wall’s helmet, causing a delay in play but it didn’t stop Lightning who continued to press. They were rewarded with Milan Kostourek supplying Carr for a shot from the left which eluded Hadfield for the winner on 56mins 43secs.

Flames called a time out with 1min 31secs remaining and immediately withdrew Hadfield for the extra skater.

It was to no avail though and it was Lightning who came closest to scoring - Kostourek won the race to the puck from a home clearance but one of his skates got in the way and he lost control.

Seconds later the same player fired from the Lightning defensive zone only for the puck to hit the outside of the left post.

Earlier Emersic had opened Lightning’s account at 9mins 9secs with a high shot to the left of Hadfield.

The visitors responded with a Marcus Kristofferson pass which was rifled in by Tom Duggan to the far side of Wall on 10mins 57secs.

Nineteen seconds later Flames’ Ben Campbell scored from close range.

On Sunday Horava got Lightning off the mark after 7mins 12secs on a powerplay resulting from an interference call on Tom Norton. Just over two minutes later at 9mins 15secsLewis Hook, from Emersic’s supply, doubled the advantage.

Seconds later Grant McPherson was sin binned for hooking and that gave Peterborough the chance to grab a goal back through Luke Ferrara on 10mins 30secs.

Exactly four minutes later Norton redeemed himself by providing the pass for Darius Pliskauskas to put beyond goalie Wall.

As the first session drew to a close a clash between the two benches saw Lightning’s Chris Wiggins - making his second appearance since his return - thrown out of the game on a five minutes plus match penalty for roughing while Nidal Phillips drew as 10 minute misconduct call with Grant McPherson taking a two minute roughing penalty. Norton, Jason Buckman and Edgars Apelis were also sin binned for Phantoms at the same time.

Phantoms then edged in front with 2mins 37secs of the second session gone - a powerplay strike from James Hutchinson doing the damage while on the powerplay.

The tallies were even again by the second break as Emersic made the play for Kostourek to defeat netminder Janis Auzins on 37mins 40secs.

The topsy-turvy score continued into the third session with Phantoms first to score within 18 seconds of the restart - Pliskauskas getting his second before Carr replied 42 seconds later to equalise again.

Ben Russell bagged his ever goal for Lightning with a strike on 46mins 37secs only for Phantoms to reply at 54mins 32secs with Pliskauskas completing his hat-trick.

The winner for Lightning finally came after 55mins 36secs with Carr setting up Kostourek to make it 6-5.

Lightning are on the road at Basingstoke Bison on Saturday, a day before they have a rare home Sunday fixture against Swindon Wildcats, face off 5.30pm.