Battling display earns Thunder draw
STREATHAM Redskins were the visitors to the Thunderdome on Sunday evening when MK Thunder took on the south London side in their final NIHL Cup game of the season.
With neither team in a position to qualify for the final, the pressure was off and Thunder were able bring back a couple of players from long term injury ahead of the tough run-in to the end of the regular league season.
Thunder took full advantage of their strengthened team and opened the scoring on two minutes as Nidal Phillips finished a rebound in the slot.
Minutes later it was 2-0 as a quick break from the home side saw Simon Howard finish a two-on-one with Harrison Goode from close range.
Streatham clicked into gear two minutes later when Joe Allen exploited space in Thunder’s defence, setting up Chris Rasmussen to simply poke the puck in to the net.
By mid-period the sides were level as Jakub Klima skated wide past the Thunder defence before firing high past Jordan Hedley in Thunder’s goal.
Klima then gave Streatham the lead in the second period, only for Thunder to equalise from the face off as Simon Howard threaded a pass through to Tom Mboya who finished calmly past Stefan Nubert in the Redskins goal.
Mboya, playing his first game since October, showed what Thunder have been missing during his lay off with a broken wrist. He caused the visitors problems throughout the game with some skilful incisive play, linking up well with Greg Randall and Goode.
Mark Turner put Thunder ahead in the final minute of the period, calmly finishing off a move that involved Jamie Randall and Phillips.
With Thunder holding a 4-3 lead going into the final third, the match was finely balanced. Both teams had their chances to score, but it was on a Thunder powerplay that, with 11 minutes remaining, Redskin’s Klima chased down a clearance and placed the puck past youngster Hedley to equalise with the short-handed goal.
In the end 4-4 was probably a fair result as Thunder gained some good momentum ahead of this weekend’s tough double away league games at Bracknell and Chelmsford.
Thunder are second from bottom of the NIHL Division One South with a handful of games left to play.
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Weather for Milton Keynes
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west