Adam Laishram and Bobby Chamberlain hat-tricks fired Milton Keynes Lightning to a weekend double against Bees with a 7-5 victory at Planet Ice on Saturday followed by a 5-3 success at Slough the following day.
Laishram hit three on Saturday while Chamberlain bagged a trio the next day to earn maximum weekend points for Lewis Clifford’s side who were almost back at full strength after the previous weekend saw the squad decimated by Covid-19 isolations.
Laishram bagged another well-deserved man of the match award in a game at Planet Ice, which was not as close as the scoreline suggested. It was not until the third period that Bees posed much of a threat and indeed the Slough-based outfit only narrowed the tallies to a respectable score in the final 10 minutes with Lightning dominating the first session to lead 3-1.
Liam Stewart fired MK off to a brilliant start, scoring after 45 seconds before Laishram made it 2-0 on 7mins 2secs when Laishram went round the net to find a gap beyond netminder Curtis Warburton.
An interference call on Sean Norris gave Bees a powerplay at 12mins 20secs and they scored through Dominik Gabaj.
However, Warburton’s net was sliced open again before the first interval – thanks to a man advantage resulting from a tripping penalty on Skate Skalde - Bobby Chamberlain’s weak goal coming on 18mins 36secs.
Stewart found the net after just 26seconds on the first attack of the period to make it 4-1 and Lightning extended their lead to four goals through Sam Talbot after 25mins 45secs.That prompted an immediate timeout by Bees who withdrew Warburton to avoid a further toasting. In his place stepped former MK goalie, Adam Goss.
Bees reduced the arrears on 32mins 24secs when goalie Brandon Stones was caught out by a long blast by Juha Lindgren. However, within two minutes Lightning were four goals in front once again with Laishram going solo to round Goss on 34mins 4secs.
Bees began the third period with renewed energy and they scored after 13 seconds through Gabaj. Lightning then regained the ascendancy with a superb Laishram goal fired in from a narrow angle at 45mins 46secs to make the tallies 7-3.
Fireworks were sparked as the result of Stones having the puck knocked out of his hand with Chamberlain and Ross Green for MK and Mikey Power and Skalde for Bees all handed fighting penalties.
Bees cut the deficit as Gabaj completed his hat-trick on 52mins 54secs and the visitors struck again when MK were reduced to three skaters after Leigh Jamieson was called for slashing moments after a too many men penalty – man of the match Bayley Harewood scoring with two seconds remaining.
Chamberlain’s hat-trick led the way at Slough the next day as Lightning came back from two nil down to win 5-3.
Lightning who were without the injured James Griffin were able, again, to call on the services of promising Sheffield Scimitars defenceman, Tyler Nixon, to help breach the gap at the back.
Edward Bradley opened the scoring for Bees on 1min 35secs and Josh Martin extended Bees advantage within 22 seconds of the start of the second period.
Sean Norris made a quick reply to Martin’s goal – beating netminder, Adam Goss, 41 seconds later. Will Stead was penalised for tripping at 24mins 18secs, giving Chamberlain the chance to register the first of his trio 38 seconds into the powerplay.
Bees were presented with a five on three advantage after Jamieson, for roughing, followed Stewart, elbows, into the sin bin in the 35th minute. The experienced James Galazzi fired past Matt Smital in the MK goal after 36mins 21secs.
Just over two minutes later Chamberlain struck again– the goal coming 1min 35secs before the second intermission. There was all to play for when the final period got underwayand Chamberlain scored a powerplay marker after 45mins 29secs.
Bees still had the chance to pull off an equaliser late in the game but they were hampered by a 54th minute penalty against Niklas Ornmarker. Having successfully seen off the short-handed spell they made a last ditch attempt for a leveller by withdrawing Goss for the extra skater inside the final 30 seconds.
It proved a disastrous move as within seconds Stewart fired in on the empty net for a goal on 59mins 38secs to round off a satisfying weekend.