Lightning extinguish Phoenix in historic away win
MK Lightning hammered Manchester Phoenix 12-3 on Sunday in their biggest away win in nearly a decade to stay in touch with financially troubled Telford Tigers at the top of the English Premier League.
It was the largest margin of victory since Lightning defeated Wightlink Raiders 16-3 at Ryde in March 2007 and the first time since November 2007 that the team had hit double figures in league competition on the road. Coincidentally that was also against Wightlink when they won 10-5.
It followed a deserved 5-3 success against Guildford Flames who are currently languishing in their lowest ever position in the English Premier League – third from bottom.
Frankie Bakrlik bagged four goals while Bobby Chamberlain and Lewis Hook helped themselves to hat-tricks in in the win over Manchester – playing in their temporary home at Blackpool.
Chamberlain was on target twice inside the first six minutes to give his team a 2-0 lead. He got off the mark on 4mins 23secs and he added another 1min 22secs later.
However Manchester fought back to square the scores by the 14th minute with goals by Edgars Bebris after 10mins 45secs and Robin Kovar on 13mins 39secs. But the visitors edged back in front with a Frankie Bakrlik wrap around goal on 15mins 32secs.
Four goals in a fraction over 11 minutes in the middle period put Lightning out of sight of Tony Hand’s outfit.
Milan Baranyk took the Lightning tally to four after 25mins 1sec before Chamberlain was denied his hat-trick goal by Fone shortly after but the Manchester stopper could not prevent the on fire Brit from hitting his third at 28mins 20secs.
Hook got in on the scoring act at 31mins 52secs while the final goal of the period saw Bakrlik hit his second on 36mins 3secs to make it 7-2 at the second interval.
At the start of the final session former Milton Keynes Thunder netminder Denis Bell replaced Fone in between the pipes but he soon gave up a goal to Hook for his second at 43mins 29secs.
Baranyk cracked in his second goal on 46mins 17secs before 40 seconds Bakrlik completed his hat-trick.
Jordan Hedley was given valuable netminding ice time when Przemy Odrobny was replaced with 12 minutes remaining ahead of Hook finishing his hat-trick after 50mins 18secs before Roman Malinik scored for Phoenix to make it 11-3.
Bakrlik rounded off the scoring to claim man of the match after 54mins 36secs.
On Saturday Lightning overcame a third period scare to clinch victory against Flames at MK Arena.
Lightning were heading for a comfortable 3-1 win when James Griffin was penalised for kneeing in the 44th minute - plus an additional two minutes for misconduct.
Flames scored twice on the powerplay through Danny Meyers on 45mins 31secs and Tuomas Santavuori after 46mins 59secs.
Griffin made amends to put the hosts back in front at 51mins 5secs. Chamberlain fired in for the fifth goal 2mins 47secs from the buzzer.
Santavuori crashed home from a behind the net pass on 6mins 3secs to give Flames the lead.
Lightning regained their composure and a five on three powerplay gave MK the chance to draw level - Matic Kralj was sin binned for two minutes for holding the opponent's stick and immediately Tom Duggan was also handed a two minute penalty for misconduct.
Bakrlik blasted through traffic past goalie Dean Skinns for the equaliser five seconds from the end of the powerplay at 17mins 55secs.
The second period was just 1min 50secs old when Bakrlik unleashed a rocket shot past Skinns to put his side in the driving seat and Jordan Cownie hit an excellently taken goal to put clear daylight between the two outfits on 35mins 48secs.
It was not until Griffin's four minutes in the cooler that the game turned in Flames' favour - albeit temporarily with Meyers’ and Santavuori’s goals.
Once back at full strength though Lightning regained the ascendancy with Griffin's goal before Chamberlain's strike made sure.
Flames withdrew Skinns for the extra skater with exactly a minute to go. The stopper had to return to the ice though with seven seconds remaining after Flames were caught with seven skaters on the ice.