MK Lightning double up on Hull Pirates with second win in three days
Hull Pirates were plundered by MK Lightning for the second time in three days at MK Arena on Saturday.
In their only game of the weekend Lightning came back from a two goal deficit to hit four goals past Dominic Osman's side for the second consecutive game - following up the English Premier League Cup semi final first leg win on Humberside.
But the 4-2 victory was not decided until the 54th minute when Milan Baranyk broke his eight game scoring duck to put the encounter to bed.
There was an element of doubt about Lightning's third unassisted goal by Craig Scott. Referee, Tim Pickett, in line with the goal line, signalled the score but the goal judge's light did not go on.
Pirates' defenceman, Martin Ondrej, signalled his disapproval at the decision and promptly earned himself a ten minute misconduct penalty.
Lightning dominated the first period with Pirates keeper Jordan Marr the far busier of the two netminders.
But it was Hull who led at the first break following a holding call on Tom Carlon on 17mins 51secs which gave the visitors a powerplay from which Andrej Themar blasted past a possibly unsighted goalie Przemy Odrobny at 18mins 28secs.
The powerplay was the first penalty of the game following a period in which Sam Jones tested Marr from the blue line in the first few minutes before Jordan Cownie danced his way through the defence, only for his shot to go past the target.
In the sixth minute Frankie Bakrlik had a fine effort snuffed out by the goalie and a minute later Lewis Hook was so close to scoring on a break with Cownie.
Jonathan Kirk had what was possibly Hull's first meaningful shot in the ninth minute but it was no match for Odrobny, ahead of Bakrlik going round the net only for the move to come to nothing.
James Griffin tried his luck from the blue line to no avail while Ugnius Cizas' shot was taken in the chest by the netminder.
Themar threatened soon after with a hard shot but again Odrobny made it look easy.
As the period progressed Bakrlik had an effort just saved while Odrobny stood in the way of a Nathan Salem attempt.
It took Carlon's penalty and Themar's powerplay strike to separate the two outfits at the break.
Within 22 seconds of the restart things became worse for MK after Bakrlik lost control of the puck and on the turnover Ryan Watt supplied Themar to fire in from the left to give Hull a two goal cushion.
However within 11 seconds Lightning had replied with Hook and Antti Hölli involved as Cownie sent a shot past Marr.
The hosts then squared things up with Cownie the supplier for Hölli to draw Marr before slotting past him for a great goal at 22mins 1secs.
With such a flurry of goals fans could have been forgiven for thinking that many more would follow quickly.
But after that the game settled into the pattern of the first session with plenty of chances for both sides but neither goal being breached again in the middle stanza.
Themar threatened again in the 24th minute with Cownie doing the same shortly after at the other end.
Hull found themselves a man short when Marcus Maynard was sin binned for holding in the 28th minute but Lightning had precious little pressure on the opposition goal.
Man of the match Lee Bonner was next in the penalty box for slashing - on the powerplay Hölli had two decent attempts without success.
There was all to play for going into the third period - Themar feeding Jamie Chilcott who forced a good stop from Odrobny while a Bakrlik blast met the same fate at Marr's hands.
The go ahead goal was given after Scott was judged to have forced the puck across the line on 44mins 55secs - only for it to be recovered by Marr.
Lightning sought to capitalise on the advantage with Bakrlik and then Hölli going close - the latter being impeded by Bonner who was sent to the penalty box for slashing.
However the Pirates goal remained intact during the powerplay.
Baranyk was denied once by Marr but he was not to be again when he unleashed a rocket shot to the goalie's far side at 54mins 49secs to seal the win.
Pirates withdrew Marr for the final 23 seconds in favour of the extra skater but it was too late to change the outcome.
Lightning face Hull again in the English Premier League Cup semi-final second leg at MK Arena on Wednesday. They won 4-1 in the first leg at Hull on Thursday.
In a change to the competition rules this year aggregate goals will not count. Hull can still go through if they lead after regulation time and force overtime. The tie would then be decided by a ‘golden goal’ or penalty shoot-out.