MK THUNDER’S winless run stretched to seven games at the weekend after defeats to both Bracknell Hornets and National League Division One South leaders Wightlink Raiders.
Coach Simon Howard must be ruing the current injury problems which have affected his side so much over recent weeks, particularly in the forward lines. Lack of firepower up front has been a real problem for Thunder and Howard is looking to bring in players if the right ones can be found.
Saturday’s away game in Bracknell was a microcosm of Thunder’s problems. They enjoyed a fantastic first period, during which they dominated the Hornets with some excellent hockey, and goals from Connor Goode and Jamie Randall gave the city side a 2-0 lead at the break.
But that was followed by a lacklustre second period when they failed to reproduce the offensive game seen in the first and lacked concentration in defence. Hornets took full advantage to win the period 4-1, with Goode scoring his second of the night to keep Thunder just one goal behind going into the final 20 minutes.
The final period was much better but Thunder failed to get enough shots on Hornets’ young netminder to produce the equaliser, meaning another narrow defeat in a game that Thunder really should have won.
Sunday saw Thunder host league leaders Wightlink Raiders at the Thunderdome in a game that highlighted the differing league positions.
Raiders were much the better side on the night, scoring two early goals to make things even more difficult for a Thunder side struggling to score. To give Thunder credit, they fought back and held Raiders for the remainder of the first period.
Two further Raiders goals in the second took the game completely away from Thunder. Raiders hit penalty trouble, but out of seven powerplay opportunities in the game, Thunder still couldn’t find the net with the man advantage.
At least in the final period Thunder produced some better hockey and outshot their opponents, but again failed beat netminder Colclough who registered another shutout in Raiders’ goal.
The final 4-0 score could have been a lot worse given the start Thunder made, so credit must go to them for fighting to hold Raiders and stay competitive throughout.
This weekend brings Thunder an away trip to Invicta Dynamos and home clash against Slough ENL Jets.