Lightning go wild to close in on Cup semi final place

Cleared...Biance Todd of the Chat Room. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001356-70)
Cleared...Biance Todd of the Chat Room. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001356-70)

MK LIGHTNING could be one win away from qualifying for the English Premier League Cup semi finals.

They go to Slough Jets on Saturday knowing that victory may be enough to secure fourth spot in the Cup table.

The table tells the tale with both Jets and Lightning equally poised on 23 points. However, Slough will still have one final cup game to play - and few would bet against them beating Bracknell Bees on December 18.

But Nick Poole’s team know that they will have to do better than when Slough visited Planet Ice three weeks ago - on that occasion Lightning failed to perform in the first period, giving themselves a mountain to climb before eventually just being edged out 4-3.

On Saturday Lightning added two more points to their cup total - the game also counting for league points - when they eventually brushed aside Swindon Wildcats 6-2.

But it was not until the final session that the city side stamped their authority on a fitxure which Wildcats could have got something from. The Wiltshire outfit shocked the home crowd by taking the lead on 2m 40s when Egid Bauba set up Sam Bullas for a goal from close range.

Lightning were quickly back in the game when Adam Brittle registered what seemed to be a soft goal for the visitors to concede on 5m 36s. And it was not until the final minute of the first period that Lightning were able to forge ahead for the first time.

It was youngster Jacob Heron who was the supplier with Michael Farn squeezing the puck into the net on the right hand side of goalie James Hadfield.

The second period was something of a damp squib with neither side able to add to their tallies - one of the few exciting moments being a brief fisticuffs between Michael Wales and Matt Foord.

So going into the final session there was still all to play for and it took a second goal from Bullas at 46m 45s to kick the game into life.

Within 27 seconds Lightning were back in front though as Andre Smulter was the provider for Adam Carr to slot home from the right hand side.

By this stage Lightning had lost Gary Clarke to injury - his place on the first line being taken by Jamie Line who then set up Brittle for the fourth goal.

Line then had a good chance but shot over the bar before Carr bagged a second, turning in a shot-cum-pass from Poole at 50m 21s.

Lightning had a man advantage when Lukas Zatopek’s blue line rocket shot made it 5-2 after 56m 6s. Leigh Jamieson’s behind the net pass to Monir Kalgoum was rifled in with 22 seconds remaining to seal the win.

The following day Lightning lost out to Peterborough Phantoms after falling a goal behind with a Jeff Glowa strike in the final two minutes of the first period.

And six minutes into the second period things got worse for a pretty below par Lightning when former NHL man Chris Allen, making his debut for Phantoms, made it 2-0 from Glowa’s set up.

With Phantoms in total control of the game Lightning had goalie Alex Mettam to thank for keeping the score down to manageable proportions - the home side putting him under enormous pressure from out outset.

However at the other end of the ice they were unable to break down the Phantoms defence until 34 seconds into the third period while they were on a powerplay.

Tempers then flared between Jamieson and Phantoms’ Thomas Jeffery - the MK player being thrown out on a five minutes game penalty for cross checking. Both also received four minute penalties for roughing.

Following Saturday’s clash at Slough Jets it will be a return to home ice on Sunday for Lightning when they face Bracknell Bees at 5.30pm. A fortnight ago Bees were just beaten by a 3-2 margin at Planet Ice.