Lightning’s woes continue despite thumping Invicta

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Lightning’s poor run of form continued at the weekend - despite a meaningless 10-2 destruction of lower league Invicta Dynamos on Saturday.

The win was of little consequence to the city outfit’s English Challenge Cup as they were relying on other results to enable their qualification for the latter stages.

Those hopes were eventually extinguished the following day while Lightning were taking on bottom placed Bracknell Bees in Berkshire.

The clash with Bees was one Lightning would have been targeting for a win - instead they went down 4-3.

More worrying for Lightning is that they have becoming increasingly dependent on one line for their goals. Against Invicta Lewis Hook, Jordan Cownie and Blaz Emersic were responsible for six of their ten goals while on Sunday the trio were involved in two of the three goals that the side managed.

Restricted to two imports due to competition rules Emersic was the only non-British trained forward in the line up on Saturday - giving the home grown players the chance to shine.

But apart from Hook and Cownie plus Leigh Jamieson with two goals, their input to the scoring was at best mediocre.

Lightning were a goal in front against Invicta after only 31 seconds when a long shot from Jordan Cownie was touched in by man of the match Hook who bagged the first of his four goals.

After 12mins 39secs Hook was again on the mark - this time while his side were short-handed with Lewis Christie serving a two minute high sticks penalty. Blaz Emersic sent Hook away to round netminder Steve Nightingale to score.

Less than two minutes later. At 14mins 36secs, it was 3-0 after Adam Carr’s behind the net pass was smashed home by Connor Goode.

Lightning went into the break 4-0 ahead as Emersic played the puck up ice to Leigh Jamieson who set up Cownie to register.

The home team adding to their tally in the second session when newly signed defenceman John Connolly started the move which saw Cownie set up Hook for his hat-trick at 30mins 12secs.

Invicta gained some consolation thanks to an Aaron Strawson goal on 32mins 24secs.

Lightning then added two more before the second interval - Leigh Jamieson on the spot to follow up after Emersic’s shot was spilled by goalie Aaron Croft who had replaced Nightingale following the home outfit’s fifth goal.

Jamieson doubled his reward with goal number seven 3mins 56secs from the break - Petr Horava, returning from paternity leave, weaving his way through the Dynamos defence before making the supply.

Only 1min 39secs of the final session had elapsed before Hook won possession in the Dynamos’ defensive zone and fired to the far side of Croft.

The city side kept up the pressure but had to wait until 54mins 55secs before breaching the Invicta defence again - Chris Wiggins being given the chance to fire home at second attempt after his first effort rebounded off the goalie.

As thoughts turned to double figures for Lightning there was a slight blip thanks to an Oravec goal for Dynamos on 58mins 3secs.

However the BLJ line came up with the goods to make it ten - Hook and Cownie getting the assists as Emersic got in on the scoring act on 58mins 16secs.

On Sunday Bees brought Lightning back to reality at The Hive.

Lightning had Grant McPherson back in the line-up but were still missing the inured Michael Farn who had also been absent the previous evening.

Lightning survived one penalty but could not keep Bees out on their next powerplay. McPherson was in the penalty box when Lukas Smital set up Jan Bendik to register past goalie Jordan Hedley at 16mins 30secs.

The hosts’ lead lasted just 32 seconds thanks to Cownie who levelled at 17mins 2secs with the assists going to Emersic and Hook.