Lightning beat GB’s juniors in World Champs warm-up

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MK Lightning got the upper hand on Great Britain U20s as they prepare for the World Championships in France.

New recruit Frantisek Bakrlik scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 win at MK Arena on Wednesday night.

The GB line up included five familiar faces to Lightning fans - Lewis Hook, Glenn Billing, Luc Johnson, Ed Knaggs and city based netminder Jordan Hedley who is plying his trade this season at Swindon Wildcats.

Lightning led 1-0 at the first break thanks to Bakrlik’s goal converted from a Markku Tahtinen behind the net pass at 16mins 48secs.

But there had been plenty of chances for both outfits before the goal. It is far to say though that the best of them fell to the home side despite some wayward shooting early on from Blaz Emersic, Adam Carr and Grant McPherson.

At the other end Ollie Betteridge set up Lewis Hook for an effort which was blocked by goalie Jordan Marr in the first few minutes.

Markku Tahtinen was penalised for a high stick in the fourth minute but GB produced little to challenge Marr.

Following the opening goal another MK player, Johnson tested Marr before Hedley was called on to make a fine save from the scorer, Bakrlik.

Tahtinen was back in the sin bin within 28 seconds of the start of the middle period - this time for hooking. Again there was little to trouble the home side while they were short handed.

Just before the midway stage Macauley Heywood saw his blast appear to come off Marr’s pads before Emersic, on the break up the right, had his effort saved by Hedley.

Shortly after the halfway point Hedley was replaced in between the pipes by Ben Churchfield and it was not long before he succumbed to a fierce Bakrlik shot for an unassisted goal at 38mins 7secs to give MK a 2-0 lead at the second interval.

Moments earlier MK youngster, Nathan Long, an addition to the Lightning roster, had been sin binned for hooking and this produced the best GB powerplay with Billing and Harvey Stead both going close.

There was no way back for GB in the third period as the hosts continued to control the game, even when Bakrlik was sitting out an elbows penalty and then teenager, Ryan Coffey, another extra in the MK line up, was penalised for tripping.

Any faint hope GB might have had was demolished with Bakrlik’s hat trick goal - again unassisted - on 54mins 11secs.