Morale-boosting cup win for Thunder

editorial image

MK THUNDER opened their NIHL Cup campaign with a resounding 14-2 win over the Slough ENL Jets on Sunday.

Thunder put their poor Division One South form behind them to show their Division Two opponents what a gulf in class there is between the two leagues.

The Berkshire side were constantly on the back foot, only managing a rare break away when a Thunder pass went astray or a deflection cleared the zone.

Man of the match Nidal Phillips opened the scoring for Thunder in the second minute, only for Jamie Milton to equalise for Slough seconds later.

But from then on it was all one-way traffic as Connor Goode made it 2-1 to the home side straight from face-off, and further goals courtesy of Phillips – who caused Jets problems throughout the game – and Harrison Goode gave Thunder a 4-1 lead by the first break.

And the city side stepped up the pressure in the second period, with Jets struggling just to keep the score respectable. Thunder goals from Jake Florey, Martyn Snape, Mark Turner, Matt Roberts and Connor Goode made it 9-1 inside 35 minutes, at which point Jets took pity on their netminder who was replaced by his understudy.

Young Ryan Gadeke scored his first Thunder goal just before the second break to make it 10-1, and the hosts maintained the intensity in the final period.

A powerplay goal from Turner was followed by strikes from Ryan Gadeke and Harrison Goode to make it 13-1, before Jets were awarded a penalty shot with five minutes to play when Nathan Darmanin was brought down by the chasing Phillips.

Darmanin beat Jordan Hedley for a second Slough consolation goal, but Greg Randall completed the scoring for Thunder with another powerplay goal to make the final score 14-2.

Although it was a comprehensive win for Thunder, it has no bearing on their next league game this Sunday when Bracknell Hornets visit Planet Ice for a 6.30pm start.