Hot shot Blaz Emersic more than doubled his goals tally for the season as he played a major part in MK Lightning’s back-to back wins over Basingstoke Bison and Bracknell Bees at the weekend.
The Slovenian grabbed the final two of Lightning’s goals in their 8-2 demolition of high flying Bison before helping himself to a hat-trick in less than half an hour’s play to secure his team’s 3-1 victory at Bees the following day.
For much of the time Emersic plays the role of unsung hero, preferring to set up his younger line mates, Lewis Hook and Jordan Cownie, with scoring opportunities. But at the weekend he took the starring role with Hook registering just twice, against Bison.
Marko Luomala who also notched two goals was man of the match against Bison but on Sunday there was inevitably only one choice in Emersic.
On Saturday Lightning were more clinical than they have been all season and were 2-0 in front within the first six minutes.
Hook started the proceedings with a goal on 2mins 22secs when set up by Cownie and Ed Knaggs on the left wing – goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky unable to deal with the high shot into the net.
It was Hook who was the provider when his effort was not held by Hiadlovsky after 5mins 13secs – Luomala was there to follow up to make it 2-0.
Lightning were dominating the opening minutes but as the period went on Bison finally began to have more of the play.
The interval worked to Bison’s detriment because just 2mins 11secs after the restart the home side extended their lead when captain Adam Carr went up the right and crossed for Luomala to shoot first time past Hiadlovsky.
Rene Jarolin then threaded the puck through to Jack Watkins to fire in 1min 35secs later – sparking an immediate Bison time out.
It didn’t do much good as Lightning registered for a fifth time after 27mins 38secs – Michael Farn coming straight out of the penalty box to send Bobby Chamberlain away to score.
Jarolin was provider when Hook went round the net to make it 6-0 on 31mins 20secs – a goal which led to the withdrawal of Hiadlovsky – his replacement between the pipes, Daniel Weller-Evans.
Just over two minutes later at 33mins 54secs Bison were given a glimmer of hope when a long range Alex Symonds blast beat goalie Dean Skinns. But by the second break it was 7-1 thanks to the first of Emersic’s pair of goals.
Within 27 seconds of the start of the final session Stuart Mogg scored a shorthanded goal for Bison but they were unable to add to that total and Emersic restored the six goal gap with 2mins 29secs remaining.
In between Bison’s frustrations boiled over with a spot of fisticuffs between Declan Balmer and Leigh Jamieson, both earning four minutes for fighting while the visitors had 10 minute misconduct penalties dished out to Joe Greener and Alan Lack.
At The Hive it was Bees who took a 1-0 lead after 9mins 3secs through a Frantisek Bakrlik assisted goal for Callum Fowler.
But the hosts’ goalie, Alex Mettam, was the busier of the two netminders in the first session as Lightning looked to hit back. They did do so but had to wait until 1min 7secs into the middle stanza before Cownie and Hook were involved as Emersic registered the equaliser.
Cownie was penalised for slashing right on the second buzzer but that didn’t stop Emersic from scoring shorthanded a mere ten seconds into the final period.
Although Bees had outshot the travellers 15-10 in the middle session they were unable to do so in the final period as MK tightened their grip on the game in the third – Emersic ensuring victory with a Hook assisted strike on 50mins 23secs.
Bees called a time out in the final two minutes, withdrawing Mettam, for the extra skater, but it failed to get them back into the game.