Six in a row for unbeaten Lightning

MK Lightning stretched their winning run to six games to open up a clear lead at the top of the English Premier League at the weekend.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 9:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:07 pm

On Saturday they and Hull Pirates served up a drama that put anything television could offer to shame - the scoreline bouncing to and fro before Lightning ended up on the right side of a 5-4 result.

The following evening Lightning did not leave it anywhere near as late with a brilliant first period all but blowing their bitter rivals Peterborough Phantoms off the ice with a 3-0 lead at the first break.

It left Lightning a point clear at the head of the table - Telford Tigers and Hull behind them

At MK Arena Hull established a 2-0 lead at the first interval, only to see Lightning claw that back in the middle session and then edge in front before Hull retook the lead. MK hit the net twice in less than 90 seconds in the last five minutes for the win.

Lightning's Blaz Emersic was penalised for tripping on 4mins 34secs and Pirates took advantage when former Sheffield Steeler Jason Hewitt registered on 6mins 17secs.

When James Griffin was called for roughing Hull made it 2-0 on the powerplay thanks to a Dominic Osman goal on 11mins 34secs.

Lightning cut the deficit at the start of the second session when Griffin shot past former MK stopper Jordan Marr after just 53 seconds.

Pirates' Ryan Watt was sin binned for hooking in the 25th minute and Hull were made to pay as Leigh Jamieson finished off at 26mins 49secs.

With the tallies level going into the third it was still all to play for and it was Lightning who went in front on the powerplay as Mikolaj Lopuski smashed a piledriver from the blue line, Marr failed to hold it and Lewis Hook put the puck away to make it 3-2 at 46mins 23secs.

Goalie Przemy Odrobny then thwarted Watt's penalty shot after he was adjudged to have been brought down en route to goal.

Jonathan Kirk equalised for Hull at 50mins 16secs before Griffin was sin binned for a check to Lee Haywood's head - Nathan Salem scoring on the powerplay at 52mins 42secs.

Captain Adam Carr fed Glenn Billing to equalise from close in at 55mins 5secs.

Less than two minutes later Lopuski crossed for Milan Baranyk to make it 5-4 on 56mins 53secs.

Watt was penalised for holding Frankie Bakrlik with less than two minutes remaining. Despite that the visitors withdrew Marr for TWO extra skaters. It only seemed to be the shouts of the crowd that alerted referee Stefan Hogarth, who had a poor game, to his mistake.

A scintillating first period blitz sunk Peterborough Phantoms at Bretton on Sunday.

Lightning established a 3-0 lead at the first interval, leaving Phantoms not knowing what had hit them on the way to a 5-2 victory.

Griffin and Jamieson had a hand in Lopuski's opener on 3mins 35secs before Lightning doubled their tally when Craig Scott set up Frankie Bakrlik for the first of a hat-trick of goals on 6mins 34secs.

Phantoms coach Slava Koulakov immediately called a time out but it had little effect - the visitors increasing their lead while Will Weldon was in the sin bin for a check from behind on 11mins 4secs. It took Bakrlik, assisted by Sam Jones and Lewis Hook, all of seven seconds to find the net.

Peterborough did go a little way to making amends when Ales Padelek defeated Odrobny on 23mins 11secs. It proved to be the only goal of the middle stanza.

In the third period Lightning took the score to 4-1 when Milan Baranyk tipped in a Lopuski pass at 47mins 46secs.

Phantoms eventually hit a powerplay goal after Lopuski was sin binned for delay of the game in the 52nd minute - Marc Levers registering on 53mins 25secs.

Netminder Janis Auzins was withdrawn for the extra skater in the final minute or so but it failed to have the desired effect. Instead Bobby Chamberlain went agonisingly close on the empty net before, right on the buzzer, Bakrlik rounded off his hat-trick to make it 5-2.