MK Thunder and Oxford City Stars met at MK Arena on Sunday, a real local derby game where form tends to mean little and rivalry takes over resulting in close hard fought games.
Sunday’s game was fast and feisty with Thunder coming out on top with an 8–5 win.
The visitors had and early opportunity when Thomas Castle was received a penalty for checking from behind, but Jamie Line had other ideas as just 11 seconds into Oxford’s powerplay, he exploited a defensive error and beat James Skaife to make it 1-0 to Thunder.
Oxford got level on the same powerplay as import Evan Mackintosh fired right into the top right hand corner of the net some 40 seconds later to complete an explosive start to the game. Piotr Poziomkowski restored Thunder’s lead mid period and Ryan Coffey made it 3-1 a minute later to give Thunder a comfortable lead at the end of the first.
When Martyn Snape scored the his first of the night two minutes into the second period it looked like Thunder might run away with the game but back came Oxford with a Josh Florey goal to make it 4 – 2.
Another Snape goal mid period restored Thunder’s three goal lead, however defensively Thunder were having an off night and first Dax Hedges and then Evan Mackintosh capitalised to pull the Stars back to within one goal at the end of the second.
Thunder regrouped in the period break and made sure the third period was more like the first, with the MK side in charge of the game. Jamie Line got his second of the game 51 seconds into the period and four minutes later Snape completed his hat-trick after being set up by Thomas Castle who would get his third assist of the game. When Hedges cross checked young Ryan Coffey from behind, receiving a match penalty for his efforts, Thunder had a five minute powerplay.
Jamie Randall eventually got the final goal of the game assisted by Snape and Tom Mboya and Thunder had the 8-5 win. Offensively Thunder looked really good in this game but they will need to tighten up at the back with tough games coming up next weekend. They travel to Cardiff on Saturday before returning to the MK Arena on Sunday to face second place Invicta Dynamos.