A Bobby Chamberlain overtime goal gave Milton Keynes Lightning their first league overtime win of the season with a 3-2 result at Bees on Sunday to propel Lewis Clifford’s men into second position in the table.
Lightning enjoyed two National Ice Hockey League Autumn Cup extra period wins but since then they had been on the wrong end of the overtime scoreline three times, twice after penalty shots.
It was also MK’s first back-to-back victories since early January. The league title now looks out of reach but Lightning are in a battle for the runners-up spot with four other teams – just three points separate second and fifth place. A bad weekend could put any of the contenders back in mid table.
With less than five minutes to go at Slough, the visitors were trailing 2-1. Then Ed Knaggs made the play to Adam Laishram for the supply to Liam Stewart to score the equaliser at 55mins 51secs
That sent the game into overtime, which came to a victorious end goalie as Matt Smital gained a rare assist when he sent Leigh Jamieson away to supply Chamberlain for the winner 1min 19secs into the extra period.
In a game of few chances the first goal did not come until 43 seconds to the second break. Stuart Mogg was penalised for slashing in fourth minute, but MK were denied any powerplay goal and it was the same end to an eighth minute call on Harvey Stead for hooking.
Lightning were restricted to seven shots on netminder Adam Goss in the first period while Smital was slightly busier, turning away 12 attempts. In the middle session the shots were almost reversed with Goss conceding once from 11 shots and Smital keeping his net intact after eight.
Sam Talbot eventually broke the deadlock at 39mins 17secs with the assists going to both defencemen on the ice – Lewis Christie starting the move with his pass to Jamieson to set up the scorer.
Seconds later Ed Bradley was sin binned for tripping, giving MK a powerplay at the start of the third period. They were unsuccessful in adding to their tally and it was to cost them seven minutes into the session when James Griffin (slashing) and Jamieson (tripping) were simultaneously sent to the cooler.
Bees took full advantage of the five on three situation with Dominik Gabaj setting up James Galazzi for the leveller on 48mins 44secs. Less than four minutes later, at 52mins 50secs, Bees took the lead through Gabaj, aided by Adam Rosbottom and Harvey Stead.
Stewart’s goal rescued the encounter for Lightning before Chamberlain sealed the points.