Lightning bounce back with win over Bees

editorial image

Milton Keynes Lightning notched their second victory of the season with a well-earned 3-1 win at Bracknell Bees on Sunday.

Three first period strikes ensured they returned to the city with the points - the game counting for both the league and English Challenge Cup.

It followed the disappointment of a 6-2 loss at Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday when Lightning went 4-0 behind before getting off the mark.

Lightning were missing injured defenceman Ross Green and Ben Russell for both games but welcomed Michael Farn back while MK Thunder player Nidal Phillips was brought into the side.

Nick Poole’s men saw out a 0-0 first period before conceding four middle period goals. An early third period strike from Tom Carlon gave them renewed hope. It was not to be with the hosts soon extending their lead again.

It took just six minutes for Grant McPherson to do battle with Steeldogs player-coach Andre Payette - both receiving two plus two minutes for roughing.

Late in the period Lightning survived an interference call on Petr Horava but they could not do the same when Phillips was given two minutes for hooking early in the second session - Tom Squires scored on the powerplay at 23mins 10secs.

Former Elite League man Jeff Legue made it 2-0 on 34mins 48secs with Payette then stretching the lead to three just 13 seconds later.

By the time the second buzzer went Steeldogs had added a fourth goal - once again it was Legue on the mark at 39mins 15secs while his team was on a powerplay with Adam Carr in the sin bin for hooking.

Lightning began the final session with a powerplay of their own thanks to a late middle stanza roughing and high sticking penalty on Steve Duncombe. This time they paid it pay with Stan Lascek the supplier for Carlon within 40 seconds of the restart.

Steeldogs soon replied though as Squires completed a hat-trick with goals on 44mins 37secs and 45mins 2secs, prompting the replacement of goalie Stephen Wall with Jordan Hedley.

There was a further clash between McPherson and Payette in the 47th minute - both receiving four minutes for roughing. The MK man then leapt to the defence of Blaz Emersic when Callum Pattison squared up. Both McPherson and Pattison were given their marching orders following the dust up.

Lewis Hook bagged a second goal from Jordan Cownie’s assist with 2mins 57secs remaining but it was too late to make a difference to the result.

Three first period goals at Bracknell Bees were sufficient to see Lightning to their second win of the season.

The strikes, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead at the opening interval, proved enough as Bees were unable to break down a resilient defence thereafter.

Lightning were first off the mark when Farn set up Milan Kostourek to beat goalie Tom Annetts after 7mins 46secs.

However it took the home team less than a minute to hit back as Ryan Watt provided Lukas Smital with the pass to level the tallies on 8mins 21secs.

Carlon got the assist as Stan Lascek edged Lightning back in front on 13mins 30secs

Smital was penalised for slashing in the 15th minute and that gave Lightning the opportunity to register on the powerplay just five seconds later at 16mins 2secs - the goal coming from Horava, assisted by Emersic.

Ryan Watt tried to stir his team in action early in the middle period but all it did was result in him picking up a 10 minute misconduct penalty in addition to four minutes for roughing.

Even when Carr and then Leigh Jamieson were sent to the sin bin in quick succession in the final two minutes of the session the Bees could not find their sting.

It was much the same in the third period when Kostourek’s game was ended early following a 10 minute misconduct call in the 53rd minute.

Although Bees had the advantage in terms of shots on goal in the final session, Hedley’s goal remained unbreached.