Lightning target the silverware in Coventry

Adam Carr celebrates his sudden death goal
Adam Carr celebrates his sudden death goal

Seldom has a roar so loud been heard at Planet Ice, and it was the perfect send off for MK Lightning as they booked a place in the semi-finals.

Adam Carr’s strike just eight seconds into sudden death over-time lifted the rafters on Sunday night as the huge crowd urged their side on against Slough Jets.

While the majority of the hard work had been done the previous evening at The Hanger down in Berkshire, Lightning’s 4-2 lead had evaporated by the halfway mark at Planet Ice as the Jets kept alive their own play-off semi final dreams.

Coach Nick Poole had barely taken his seat on the bench when captain Carr bundled the puck past Gregg Rockman in the Jets net, sending Lightning for an early taster of what it will be like in their future home.

Owner Vito Rausa admitted he had a lump in his throat when Carr’s shot hit the back of the net.

“Adam’s such a special player for us,” he said. “In his testimonial year for the club, to score that goal, the goal that will be remembered forever, couldn’t have fallen to a better player.

“He said from the face-off that he was going to take it on and told the other players to find space. By the time he realised, he was in on goal and he took the shot.

“I think it is one of the greatest sporting moments in Milton Keynes’ history.”

It’s expected to be a sell-out at the Coventry Skydome on Saturday, with the Lightning fans donning their hula skirts and floral garlands to cheer their side on.

In fact, Lightning had sold almost all of their allocation of tickets within hours of going on sale on Tuesday.

But the little matter of Guildford Flames stand in the way of a place in the final though.

Surprisingly though, unlike in many other sports, winning the top prize doesn’t bring with it any monetary reward for Lightning.

“In terms of financial gain, there is none in winning the play-offs in Coventry,” Rausa said. “But we set ourselves three objectives this season - to finish in the top four, to make it to Coventry and to win some silverware.

“We’ve done two of those, and we want the third.”

Few minds will be dwelling on the impending season away from Milton Keynes should Lightning come away victorious on both Saturday and Sunday, but Rausa is pleased to have given the Thunderdome at Planet Ice the send off it deserves.

“It was the perfect end, and such a great moment for the fans,” he said.

“It’s the end of an era but that goal was a moment that will stay with us and will remind us of home.”

And there’ll no better way to underline Carr’s goal than with a trophy on Sunday night.