Three goals in two minutes from a resurgent MK Thunder was more than the visiting Cardiff Devils could handle and signalled the start of a 5-0 demolition of the Welsh side.
Thunder have been below par recently and were looking to find their form again now key players are back from injury, whilst the visitors are fighting - literally at times - for their Division One survival.
This led to a cagey opening period with both sides having some good possession but neither able to capitalise on their chances as the netminders stopped everything shot at them.
Whatever was said in the Thunder changing room during the first break certainly worked as the Milton Keynes side exploded into action in the second period.
A minute after the restart and Josh Nicklin put Thunder ahead, getting on the end of a sharp pass from Piotr Poziomkowski, with Jamie Line getting the second assist.
Twenty seconds and a line change later saw Mathias Rugholm make it 2-0 with the assist going to Tom Mboya.
It was good to see Rugholm back in action after a long layoff with a shoulder injury, his skill and energy around the ice have been missed and led to man of the match performance in this game.
Another line change, and thirty seconds after the second goal, and Thunder’s third line got in on the act. Martyn Snape extending the lead to 3-0 assisted by Harrison Goode and Thomas Castle.
Relative calm ensued for the next three minutes, then at 25:17 Josh Nicklin scored his second of the night finishing a move involving Poziomkowski and Line.
The Coach of a shell shocked Devils side called a timeout at this point to try and rally his team. Whether there was an instruction given to get physical no one knows but the style of Cardiff’s play changed from that point and when a Devils player intentionally collided with Thunder’s netminder Damien King he was unceremoniously dragged off.
The resulting fight saw three players from each team sitting roughing penalties as the Thunder players on the ice sought retribution in defence of their netminder.
When back to full strength, Thunder carried on with the goal fest, Jamie Line made to 5 – 0 with a powerplay goal at 36:22 with Jamie Randall and Simon Howard getting assists.
Thunder eased off in the final period, Damien King came off to give young Spencer Caminsky a period in goal. Cardiff did their best to find a way back but with Thunder’s defence sound all night, there was never much hope for them.
Thunder now have just one home game left in the regular season, London Raiders visit next Sunday and Thunder will be looking to build on this win ahead of their play off campaign in early April.