Mixed weekend for Thunder

Harrison Goode scoring Thunder's second goal against Invicta Dynamos (Claire Stanton)
Harrison Goode scoring Thunder's second goal against Invicta Dynamos (Claire Stanton)

MK Thunder, looking for a four point weekend, came up just short with a solid 5–1 win in Cardiff on Saturday and a narrow 2–3 defeat at home to Invicta Dynamos on Sunday.

The long trip to Cardiff is always tough on players and with face off delayed until 7:15pm it meant a very late night return to MK.

Thunder started brightly and controlled the opening period against a Devils side that looked lacking in inspiration. A cross checking penalty against the home side gave Thunder an early opportunity and they took maximum advantage with Piotr Poziomkowski firing home to put Thunder 1–0 up. Poziomkowski extended the lead in the twelfth minute, getting the final touch in a goalmouth melee, although in the confusion Jamie Line was credited with the goal. Alex Whyte then made it 3–0 four minutes later with a cheeky reverse flick through the netminders legs.

Finding themselves 3–0 down after one period and being outplayed, Devils resorted to the physical approach to vent their frustrations. Thunder tried to maintain their positive approach with Tom Mboya extending the lead to 4–0 before Devils eventually found a way past Thunder’s defence and Damien King in goal to make it 4–1. Thunder lost two players to injury during the period to the antics of the home team and little changed in the final period as Devils had no way back into the game. Jamie Line wrapped up a comfortable 5–1 win with four minutes of the game to go.

After getting back to MK in the early hours of Sunday, Thunder then had to face Invicta Dynamos at MK Arena. Thunder had won the last game between the two sides so Dynamos were looking to reverse that and came out strong from the start. Thunder spent most of the opening period on the back foot, having to defend against the forward lines of Invicta.

When Thunder did clear their zone and look to attack, their forwards couldn’t find a way through and quick turnovers saw Dynamos back with the puck to bearing down on Thunder’s defence again. With five key forwards now out injured, Thunder were always going to find this game difficult and they did well to keep the game scoreless at the end of the first period.

Much the same pattern of play in the second, but this time Dynamos did find a way to score and took the lead at 27:00 through the ever dangerous Andy Smith. Piotr Poziomkowski got Thunder level midway through period setting up an exciting final period with all to play for.

Dynamos made it 2–1 with a Juraj Huska goal and then Smith scored his second to take the visitors two goals clear. Thunder had a two man advantage at the time with a 5-on-3 powerplay but got caught in their own zone by Smith who gained possession to slot the puck past King. Harrison Goode pulled a goal back for Thunder midway through the period but despite every effort Thunder couldn’t find the equaliser as Dynamos hung on for the 3–2 win.

Thunder have a Saturday home game this week with Solent Devils visiting the MK Arena, before travelling to Chelmsford on Sunday to face league leaders Chieftains.