All in Black Milton Keynes Lightning just came up short when they were edged out 5-4 by Swindon Wildcats in their second meeting of the Streaming Series at Planet Ice on Saturday.
After losing 8-6 in the first meeting the previous Saturday hopes of evening up things were dashed by three third period strikes by the Wiltshire visitors.
An edgy but even first session which ended with one goal apiece gave little indication of what was to come. As the second period went on Lightning gained a grip on the encounter by the mid point to finish the session 4-2 to the good.
However that advantage was wiped out by a pair of Swindon strikes within the first three minutes of the third and from then on Lightning looked to be on the back foot for much of the remainder of the game.
Lightning started with two new defencemen in their ranks – Zach Sullivan from Manchester Storm and former Wildcat Paul Swindlehurst, more recently with Belfast Giants, only joining on the day with Ross Green an absentee.
Good work from Bobby Chamberlain saw the former Hull Pirate put the hosts in front from Swindlehurst’s pass with just 3mins 26secs gone but Wildcats hit back when Hungarian import Balint Pakozdi beat goalie Jordan Lawday just over five minutes later at 8mins 30secs.
Neither side had much in the way of powerplays in the first session – Neil Liddiard was called for holding in the fourth minute but the man advantage was ended when captain Russell Cowley was sin binned for cross-checking a little over a minute later.
Robin Kovar prompted a fine reaction save from Marr towards the end of the period while Tomasz Malasinski shot over the crossbar in the final 90 seconds.
Edgars Bebris fired over the shoulder of Marr and off target against his former employers within the first minute of the middle period before Ben Davies’ low shot was covered by Lawday.
MK retook the lead when Cowley finished off from a Chamberlain set up at 32mins 4secs – the goal in doubt for a moment or so when the net came off its moorings before it was decided that Marr was the culprit.
A great piece of teamwork saw David Clements put the puck through to Lewis Hook with his cross ice pass finding Kovar in space to fire a rocket past Marr on 33mins 31secs.
Swindon narrowed the gap on a delayed penalty on Tomas Kana when Chris Jones was provider for Sam Bullas at 34mins 33secs.
But the two goal gap was restored as Kana gave Marr no chance with a shot into the corner of the net after 37mins 27secs.
If MK thought they were on course for a win that illusion was quickly shattered as first the ever dangerous Malasinski struck within 40 seconds of the restart and then former Lightning man Glenn Billing was the supplier for Bullas to score his second of the game on 42mins 43secs.
In the end it was a 52nd minute tripping call on Ben Russell that afford Wildcats a powerplay from which they were able to score through Malasinski with a great shot from the right – Nell making the play – within six seconds at 52mins 38secs to make it 5-4 to the visitors.
From then on there were chances for MK – a Cowley blast saved in Marr’s chest with less than three minutes to go probably being the best of them.
Man of the Match: Bobby Chamberlain