Milton Keynes Lightning survived a late surge by Sheffield Steeldogs to take the points with a 6-5 win in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Planet Ice on Saturday.

Steeldogs came from 5-2 behind with less than nine minutes remaining to level at 58mins 35secs and force the game into five minutes of overtime that failed to separate the two sides. Both teams are vying for a top three finish in the league, ahead of the end of season play-offs.

The hosts led 1-0 at the first break thanks to a Sam Talbot strike, assisted by Tim Wallace and Hallden Barnes-Garner, after 9mins 44secs. However, they were unable to capitalise on any of the three penalties on Sheffield players – Tim Smith, Sam Towner (twice) all serving time for tripping. It could have proved more costly than it did in the end.

When Callum Field was called for elbows with less than three minutes of the middle period gone Steeldogs had their first powerplay of the night. Instead man of the match Adam Laishram was able to break and go solo to beat Steeldogs’ goalie Miles Finney at 23mins 6secs for a shorthanded marker.

Former Sheffield Steeler – and Lightning man – Andreas Valdix hit back to narrow the gap on 28mins 22secs before Sean Norris and James Griffin were involved as Talbot restored the two goal advantage at 30mins 01sec.

Lightning’s joy was short-lived with Alex Graham finding a way past goalie Matt Smital to make it 3-2 after 32mins 49secs – the supply coming from Jason Hewitt and Matt Bissonnette.

However, after the home outfit saw off a high stick penalty on Wallace at 33mins 29secs they restored their two-goal lead through captain Russell Cowley at 37mins 34sec – Laishram and Griffin with the helpers.

The flurry goals ceased for the first ten minutes or so until Edgars Landsbergs and Mikey Power claimed the assists on Liam Stewart’s goal to make it 5-2 after 50mins 39secs on a delayed penalty.

At that stage it looked as though MK had the encounter wrapped up – but they had not accounted for a late rally by Steeldogs that saw them draw to within a goal with 4mins 13secs remaining of regulation time.

Lee Bonner, with assistance from Valdix and Jonathan Kirk defeated Smital at 51mins 2secs and after Bissonnette emerged from the penalty box to aid Graham for his second goal at 55mins 47secs to make it 5-4 the momentum swung towards Steeldogs.

The visitors called a timeout with 1min 44secs of normal time left, immediately withdrawing Finney in favour of the extra skater. This time the high-risk strategy paid off as Graham completed his hat trick to equalise within seconds at 58mins 35secs.

Lightning a had great chance to put the game to bed when Bissonnette was penalised for a blatant cross-check in the third minute of overtime, giving Lightning a powerplay that they could not take advantage of.

In the end though it didn’t matter as after both sides’ first two penalty takers failed to convert Hewitt bagged one for Sheffield directly ahead of Talbot scoring for the hosts. The next three attempts – two for Steeldogs and one for Lightning failed to produce a goal so it was down to Griffin to score the game-winning goal. He duly did to send the home fans home happiest.

Man of the match: Adam Laishram.