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Old rivals Peterborough Phantoms claimed first bragging rights as Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning went down 4-0 at Bretton on Sunday.  In truth, it was a good reaction from the MKL boys after struggling at home the night before.  Hard work was in evidence and some good organisation was clear particularly on the PK where Peterborough were 0 for 8.  Despite the result, these are clear signs of things to be built on.  Indeed it took until over half way through the game for Phantoms to establish the lead they never surrendered after an edgy start in which goalie Brandon Stones was kept busy.

It took only 1min 24secs for the officials to call the first penalty on Lightning’s Harry Ferguson for tripping with Jordan Stokes then consigned to the sin bin on 4mins 39secs for interference. Before that penalty expired though Phantoms’ Tom Norton was given two minutes in the cooler for roughing.

None of the powerplays for either side made any difference to the scoreline and neither did the four on four situation when Callum Buglass was quickly followed off the ice by Leigh Jamieson – both serving 11th minute hooking infractions – the latter also seeing Phantoms awarded a penalty shot when the MK player impeded his opponent for a second time. Fortunately Stones saved the shot.

Lightning were outshot 17-4 in the first session – a statistic which was almost exactly repeated in the middle period when Phantoms had a 17-5 advantage. Eventually the hosts broke down Lightning’s resistance when Bradley Bowering supplied import Petr Stepanek at 30mins 16secs.  Slava Koulikov’s outfit soon had another powerplay as Lewis Christie went to the box for holding but once more there was only a few seconds before the sides were at parity – Buglass making his second trip to the penalty bench, again for hooking.

It was a similar situation a few minutes later when Stokes and former MK hope Glenn Billing were given tripping and roughing penalties within a few seconds of each other. Neither affected the score but Phantoms did go into the second break two goals to the good thanks to an Ales Padelek strike 58 seconds from the interval.

From then on it was always going to be an uphill battle for the travellers who again found it difficult to get shots on goal as Phantoms extended their advantage further – again through Padelek, aided by Norton and Billing at 54mins 9secs, shortly after MKL coach Lewis Clifford had called a time out.

Only seconds later though Lightning’s bad night was compounded with a fourth Phantoms’ goal, thanks to Martins Susters, supplied by Stepanek and Bowering at 54mins 47secs, ahead of a too many men call against MK which they survived in a period in which they were outshot 22-5 – the final shots on goal tally reading 56-14.

Man of the match: Brandon Stones.

Photo: Tony Sargent