LEIGH Jamieson celebrated his first ever MK Lightning hat-trick against Manchester Phoenix on Saturday, and said the team’s 8-2 victory sent a message out to the rest of the English Premier League.
Although Lightning lost 5-2 to reigning champions Guildford Flames on Sunday, the city side’s opening night demolition of Manchester – who finished second last season – will live long in the memory of the home supporters who were at Planet Ice.
Jamieson’s only other senior hat-trick came in his Belfast Giants days, but it took him just 35 minutes to find the back of the net three times against Phoenix. And the 27-year-old forward said the team’s all round performance will have made the rest of the league sit up and take notice.
“It was a really enjoyable game to play in,” he said. “It was a good, physical match, and we played really well on the night.
“I think it sent a message out to the rest of the league that we’re one of the teams to beat this season. We didn’t play very well against Peterborough but we knew we would come back and play well.
“It’s always great to score goals but the most important thing was that the team got a good result. It was a great way to start the season.”
Unfortunately Lightning couldn’t take their outstanding scoring form into Sunday’s trip to Guildford as the visitors fell 5-0 behind before netting two late consolation goals.
Jamieson hopes that defeat was just a blip, and that the team can bounce back in style with a four-point weekend when they meet early league leaders Basingstoke Bison twice in 24 hours.
“They’re a great team and I expect they will be up there in the top three or four come next year,” said Jamieson, who netted 40 times for Lightning last season. “But we’ll still be going there looking for a win.
“If you want to win trophies then you’ve got to win games, and we’ll only be happy if we win both matches at the weekend.”
Saturday’s victory over Manchester was as memorable for several rounds of fighting as much as it was for the 10 goals scored, with new hard man recruit Chris Wiggins leading from the front.
Jamieson said he tried to stay out of it, but he doesn’t mind sticking up for his team-mates when he needs to.
“I’ve probably played in more physical games than that,” he said. “It was a fun game to play in and I thought we put on a good show for the fans.”