In front of their biggest crowd of the season MK Thunder won the second leg of their playoff quarter-final to progress through to the semi-finals next weekend.
The 7-2 victory over Streatham Redskins followed a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Streatham on Saturday and sets up a clash with Invicta Dynamos next weekend.
Redskins had the best of the opening period on Saturday, leading 1-0 at the break. Thunder’s defence coped well soaking up a lot of pressure while the forwards played a counter attacking game.
Thunder then went on the offensive in the second period, having much more of the play in the Redskins zone and out shooting the home team. However Callum Best extended the lead for Redskins at 25:20 with his second of the night before Mathias Rugholm fired home from short range to get Thunder on the scoreboard with two minutes of the period to go.
A minute later and Thunder were level, a superb goal from Jamie Line finishing off a breakaway move involving Piotr Poziomkowski and Harrison Goode made it 2-2.
Thunder concentrated on counter attacking in the final period, making sure they contained Redskins forwards while at the back Damien King put in another solid performance.
Sunday’s second leg belonged to Thunder, they controlled the game from the start which led to discipline and penalty problems for Streatham. Jamie Line opened the scoring in the eighth minute having been set up by Poziomkowski, he then made it 2-0 with a powerplay goal at 14:18 as the visitors started to hit penalty trouble.
Jakub Klima pulled one back for Redskins in the final two minutes of the period only for Martyn Snape to make it 3-1 to Thunder 50 seconds later on a delayed penalty call.
Thunder continued to dominate in the second period, sound defensively they always presented a threat in the Streatham zone. Two goals from Poziomkowski in the period gave Thunder a 5-1 lead going into the final period.
A superb individual goal from Mathias Rugholm extended the lead to 6-1 a minute into the final twenty, he gained possession round the back of Streatham net, wrapped round and lifted the puck over the shoulder of Sanderson in Redskins goal.
However, his celebration was not appreciated by the visitors and the Redskins bench cleared as they went after Rugholm prompting the Thunder players to leave their bench to go the aid of their threatened forward. The melee that followed resulted in both teams going back to their changing rooms to cool off while the officials sorted out the penalties.
Redskins had two players thrown out while both teams had players in the box with roughing penalties. The fracas didn’t dent Thunder’s momentum though, less than two minutes after Rugholm’s goal Jamie Randall scored Thunder seventh, a powerplay goal assisted by Edward Knaggs.
Evander Grinell scored a late powerplay consolation goal but Redskins were well beaten in the end and the 7 – 2 scoreline was no more than Thunder deserved.
The 9-4 aggregate win set up a semi-final meeting next weekend with Invicta Dynamos with the home leg here at MK Arena on Saturday.