A fantastic hat-trick from Sam Talbot helped Milton Keynes Lightning bounce back from a home defeat with a 6-2 victory at Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.
After the 5-2 loss to Steeldogs the previous evening, MK headed to Sheffield for the return National Ice Hockey League fixture and gained revenge with a result that meant they ended the weekend level on points with the second in the table Yorkshire side.
At iceSheffield Bobby Chamberlain got the show on the road with a goal after 5mins 8secs – Talbot making the supply – before Adam Laishram and Lewis Christie clashed with Steeldogs Lee Bonner and Jack Brammer. The result was five minute penalties for each of the fighting combatants but there was no change in the score.
Both Chamberlain and Leigh Jamieson were despatched to the sin bin in the dying seconds of the first period which meant MK started the second session a player down. Bonner also picked up a roughing penalty as the same time as Jamieson.
Only 45 seconds of the middle period had elapsed before Jonathan Kirk the chance to level on the powerplay for the hosts from Jason Hewitt’s pass.
Unperturbed, the visitors replied with Talbot snatching his first goal at 26mins 35secs, thanks to helpers Ed Knaggs and Tyler Nixon. Just over three minutes later Ross Green set up Sean Norris for goal number three for MK at 29mins 58secs.
Lewis Clifford’s men saw off a tripping call against Talbot and a cross-checking penalty for Laishram seconds later, before captain Russell Cowley stretched the lead to three goals with 1min 15 seconds of the period remaining.
Steeldogs ended the period a man short with Charlie Thompson despatched to the sin bin for roughing 44 seconds from the break, but it made no difference to the tallies.
The hosts did take advantage when MK suffered two quick penalties in the 51st minute as Laishram (holding) followed Callum Field (tripping) to the sin bin – this time it was Hewitt who was the powerplay scorer at 52mins 42secs.
Once more though, Lightning restored the three goal gap almost immediately with Talbot’s second of the night shortly afterwards – unassisted – and it was the same player who completed his hat-trick on 55mins 47secs to make it 6-2, the assists going to Chamberlain and Green.
Man of the match: Sam Talbot.