Thunder up to fourth with win

Pic: Nick Holder
Pic: Nick Holder

Damien King produced two stunning performances for MK Thunder over the weekend saving 90 of the 94 shots he faced across the two games to help Thunder to a 3 point weekend.

Having narrowly lost to Isle of Wight Raiders 3–2, Thunder knew they were capable to causing an upset against one of the ‘big four’

But they found themselves travelling with an under strength team due to illness and having to leave three players to play with Lightning on Saturday.

The two lines of Thunder faced off against Raiders four lines, after a fairly even five minutes it was Raiders that got the early advantage when Craig Tribe scored the opener.

Raiders lead lasted less than a minute, a speculative long range shot from Thunder’s Tom Mboya found its way past an embarrassed Colclough in the Raiders goal to make it 1-1. Colclough was again the culprit as Ryan Coffey put Thunder ahead in the 16th minute, misjudging his angles to allow Coffey’s shot past him as Thunder went into the first break 2-1 up.

Raiders’ Steve Blamer eventually found a way past and equalised.

Despite losing two men to injury, the game remained stalemate until the final ten minutes as Raiders pressure was soaked up by Thunder’s defence.

It took the speed of Jamie Line to break the deadlock with two goals in four minutes to give Thunder a 4-2 lead which appeared to shock Raiders into action as they took advantage of their numeric strength and Thunder’s tiring defence.

Jaroslav Cesky pulled a goal back to make it 4-3. Despite heroic efforts Thunders nine guys couldn’t quite hold on and two minutes from the end Richard Facey managed to poke home the equaliser for Raiders as both sides had to settle for a point.

Sunday saw Thunder back on home ice to take on the Bracknell Hornets.

This season Thunder have the speed and skill, and it showed on Sunday as they got the upper hand against a good Bracknell side.

The opening period was very even, equal shots on goal and low penalty count made it an intriguing game.

With Damien King in goal there was no chink in the home side’s defence, but that man Jamie Line found a way through Hornets defence to open the scoring in the fifth minute.

A powerplay goal from Piotr Poziomkowski mid way through the second period made it 2-0 to Thunder while at the other end Thunder’s defence and the solid King soaked up everything Hornets could throw at them.

Tom Castle made sure of the result though, scoring Thunder’s third.

Thunder then shut up shop to prevent Hornets getting on the scoresheet and preserve the shutout for Damien King who rightly took the man of the match award for his 43 shot shutout.

The 3-0 win takes Thunder above Hornets into fourth place in the league based on head-to-head results.