Young Hedley stars but Bison double up

MK Lightning vs Baskingstoke Bison. Pic: Jez Tibbetts
MK Lightning vs Baskingstoke Bison. Pic: Jez Tibbetts
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Lightning’s bright start to the season came crashing down to Earth with a bump when they lost twice to Basingstoke Bison at the weekend.

After Lightning took maximum points from their opening games the previous weekend Bison handed out a 6-3 defeat at the city outfit’s temporary Coventry home on Saturday before seeing off Nick Poole’s men in a 3-2 result in Hampshire the next day.

At Coventry Skydome Bison made them pay for some poor defensive mistakes - particularly in the first period and at the start of the second with goalie, Stephen Wall not having the best of games and being withdrawn in favour of youngster Jordan Hedley.

Joe Miller put Bison in front with a powerplay goal after 7mins 3secs only for Lightning to reply 41secs later when Leigh Jamieson was the supplier for Blaz Emersic to bag the first of his two goals.

Parity did not last long with Tomas Karpov feeding Joe Greener to give the visitors the advantage again at 9mins 31secs with a shot goalie Stephen Wall may have saved on another night.

The lead was stretched to two after 16mins 16secs when Doug Sheppard put Miller clear to shoot straight through Wall’s legs.

Lightning made a great start to the middle session when Michael Farn made a short pass to Jamieson who fired to the far side of Bison goalie Dean Skinns on 21mins 11secs. Once again the response was quick as Tomas Karpov went solo to restore the two goal gap on 21mins 29secs.

When Miller made it 5-2 less than a minute later Lightning called a timeout to replace Wall with Hedley.

From then on Lightning’s play improved and their efforts were rewarded with a second Emersic goal, assisted by Janne Jokila and Jamieson, after 31mins 9secs.

The fightback faded in the third session though and any chance the home team had disappeared when Aaron Connolly beat Hedley for Bison’s sixth goal after 50mins 45secs.

A Lascek goal scored with 35sec left after Hedley was withdrawn for the extra skater was not enough to save Lightning from defeat to Bison on Sunday.

MK went two goals down before a third session fight back which saw them come close to getting a share of the spoils at Basingstoke.

The opening goal was struck on 12mins 31secs through Miller while Bison were on the powerplay. Hedley, making his first English Premier League start, appeared to have the shot covered but the puck somehow went under him.

Nick Chinn supplied Joe Rand to make it 2-0 to the home team 46secs before the second break.

Lightning cut the deficit further when Jamieson made the pass for Lascek to register on 44mins 55secs.

Bison regained the two goal advantage, taking advantage of a powerplay - Tomas Karpov hitting the net at 55mins 41secs.

After Joe Greener was caught hooking Jamieson in the 58th minute Lightning called a timeout to take off man of the match Hedley in favour of an extra skater.

And although Lascek was able to cut the gap to one goal, MK could not get the equaliser to send the game into overtime.