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An early goal from Rio Grinell-Parke put Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning on their way to a 4-1 victory and a four point weekend at Leeds Chiefs on Sunday.
Although Chiefs hit back with an equaliser in the eighth minute it was Lightning who were in command for much of the game and they stamped their authority on the encounter with two quick second period goals before killing off any hope Leeds had of a late comeback with a goal just under five minutes from the final buzzer.
Russ Cowley joined the list of absentees from the roster as well as Ross Green, Grant McPherson, Robin Kovar and Brandon Stones, leaving MK short-benched. But that did not stop Grinell-Parke from beating goalie Sam Gospel unassisted on 4mins 8secs.
Just over two minutes later Tomas Kana was sin binned for roughing and although Lightning survived short-handed they conceded soon after the expiry of the penalty – Patrik Valcak setting up Lewis Houston at 8mins 35secs.
Richard Bentham who seemed to be targeting Cale Tanaka was given two minutes for cross-checking in the 15th minute and just over a minute later team-mate Liam Charnock joined him in the penalty box for tripping.
That gave MK a five on three powerplay which was reduced to four on three as Leigh Jamieson was called for hooking. The net result though was no further goals before the first break.
Early in the second session a James Griffin effort forced a good save from Gospel before the visitors’ goalie, Dean Skinns, was tested ahead of the go ahead goal when Kana supplied Tanaka on 24mins 3secs.
Just over a minute later at 25mins 23secs Lightning increased their lead to 3-1 as Liam Stewart set up Taylor Dickin for his first goal for the team before the visitors appeared to have scored another quick goal, only for the effort to be washed out due to a player being in the goalie’s crease. There was a scare for MK towards the end of the second session when a Leeds shot hit the crossbar but the lead remained intact at the break.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm when the third period began although Skinns was called into action early on before Tom Carlon tried to break Gospel’s resolve without success.
As the game went into the final ten minutes MK were put under a lot of pressure but they were not to give up their advantage and put the result beyond doubt when Grinell-Parke supplied Stewart for the fourth goal on 55mins 10secs.
Man of the match: Rio Grinell-Parke.
Photo credit: Tony Sargent, Milton Keynes Lightning