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Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning suffered slight blip in their recent resurgence when they went down 5-4 on penalty shots at Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.
It meant that Lightning finished the weekend with three out of a possible four points. A few weeks ago that would have been regarded with delight but following the recent turn around in results which has produced 26 points out of 30 it could wrongly be regarded as a setback.
At IceSheffield they fell behind to a Ryan Johnson opener for Steeldogs after 7mins 41secs – the assist going to player coach Ben Morgan – and then conceded again to a Jan Danecek goal after 8mins 58secs with Craig Elliott providing the supply.
Lightning were unable to find a way back into the game when Lewis Bell was called for holding in the 14th minute, but after the penalty expired Lewis Christie set up Cale Tanaka to get the visitors off the mark on 16mins 1sec.
The two teams went into the break all square thanks to Saturday’s man of the match, Tom Carlon, who finished off from Grant McPherson’s set up at 18mins 59secs.
There were no goals during the second period, despite both outfits being a man short at various stages – Steeldogs were caught with too many men on the ice in the 32nd minute after MK’s Leigh Jamieson had been penalised for tripping in the 27th minute.
Lightning edged in front 35 seconds into the third session with a Russ Cowley assisted goal from Tomas Kana, only for the hosts to level just over two minutes later at 42mins 43secs – Jack Brammer netting from an assist by Charles Thompson.
Once more it was the travelling side that went in front with Leigh Jamieson supplying Kana for his second of the night on the mark at 51mins 23secs while Steeldogs’ Greg Wood was in the cooler for tripping – the Czech forward’s goal timed at 51mins 23secs.
But back came Steeldogs for an equaliser 3mins 12secs from the end of regulation time – an unassisted strike by Vladimir Luka sending the game into five minutes of overtime which failed to settle the issue.
Therefore it was down to penalties with Kana the only scorer for Lightning while James Spurr and Luka both netted for the home outfit to take two points and the visitors one point.
The results left Lightning maintaining sixth spot in the National Ice Hockey League – level on points with Hull Pirates and four points behind fourth placed Peterborough Phantoms.
Man of the match: Cale Tanaka.
Photo: Tony Sargent