Wildcats deliver blow to practice-starved Lightning

MK Lightning 1-3 Swindon Wildcats

Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:39 pm

MK Lightning

Practice-starved Milton Keynes Lightning are due to return to action at Planet Ice on Thursday following the re-opening of the arena after ice problems halted their on-ice training sessions for more than a week.

Lightning face Swindon Wildcats at the arena on Thursday at 8pm in a game postponed from last Friday – MK also having had the encounter with Basingstoke Bison called off the previous Sunday.

The lack of ice time could not have helped when Lightning slipped to a 3-1 NIHL Autumn Cup defeat at Slough on Sunday – sunk by two second period Bees goals before being struck by a third blow early in the final session.

Lightning were unable to make anything of an early advantage when Bees’ forward Joshua Smith was sin binned for four minutes on a high sticking call. The hosts were reduced to three skaters during Smith’s penalty as teenager Bayley Harewood joined him in the cooler on a tripping penalty.

Having survived that Bees stayed out of the sin bin – as did Lightning – for the remainder of the first period which ended goalless, MK’s man of the match netminder Brandon Stones the slightly busier of the two goalies.

The deadlock was eventually broken when Lightning forward Edgars Landsbergs was penalised for delaying the game, earning him two minutes off the ice during which Slovakian born Dominik Gabaj, classified as British, set up James Galazzi for the opening goal at 24mins 35secs.

Galazzi doubled his and Bees’ tally 20 seconds before the second interval beating Stones with a goal assisted by captain Stuart Mogg before MK lost the services of Bobby Chamberlain for the first 1min 59secs of the final period thanks to a cross checking penalty.

The travellers survived the short-handed spell but couldn’t prevent UK-Finnish dual national Juha Lindgren from taking Bees’ score to 3-0 with just 140 seconds of the period gone – the goal unassisted.

It took until 48mins 42secs before Lightning broke their duck as Adam Laishram made the supply for Sean Norris to defeat home goalie Curtis Warburton. However that was as good as it got for Lewis Clifford’s men, suffering a 3-1 loss.