Delayed on the motorway, things didn’t get better for Milton Keynes Lightning when they ended up on the wrong end of a 6-4 scoreline at Sheffield Steeldogs on Friday.

The visitors had to wait until the 29th minute for their opening goal. By that time though Steeldogs had already bagged three of their own, starting on 11mins 35secs when Henry Adams made the supply for Nathan Ripley to fire home past former Steeldogs goalie, Brandon Stones, now in MK colours.

Lightning had barely had chance to recover than Sheffield doubled their advantage at 13mins 53secs when top marksman Jason Hewitt completed a move started by Tim Smith and also involving Matt Bissonnette.

Things deteriorated even further for the travellers as Alex Graham finished off from Hewitt and Ben Morgan after 17mins 25secs. Stones was undoubtedly the busier of the two netminders in the first period – facing 15 shots compared with Dimitri Zimozdra’s eight without conceding.

The second session saw improved fortunes for Lewis Clifford’s outfit – eventually they were able to break their duck at 29mins exactly when Leigh Jamieson registered, assisted by Sam Talbot and Sean Norris.

They cut the deficit further on 37mins precisely with Liam Stewart, set up by Norris, bagging the first of his two goals, giving some optimism that the visitors could pull something out of the bag at 3-2 down going into the second break.

However, with 41 seconds on the clock at the start of the third period, that hope started to fade with Graham defeating Stones for a second time to make it 4-2. Once more though MK narrowed the gap at 43mins 4secs as Bobby Chamberlain and Tim Wallace took the assists on Stewart’s second goal.

MK suffered an injury blow shortly after as Norris went down and was helped off the ice holding his arm.

Going into the final ten minutes there was still all to play for until two quick goals eased Steeldogs into a three goal lead that was to prove too big a mountain for Lightning to climb.

Graham completed his hat trick on a delayed penalty goal from Bissonnette and Hewitt on 51mins 43secs before Jack Brammer put the puck past Stones, aided by former Sheffield Steeler and Lightning player– in their Elite League days – Andreas Valdix. That goal came on 52mins 31secs.

Frustration boiled over for Chamberlain with less than four minutes remaining – finding a willing combatant in Steeldogs’ Lee Bonner, with both receiving five minute fighting penalties.

Lightning managed one more score – Jamieson and Talbot assisting on a last gasp powerplay strike by Russell Cowley just 33 seconds from the final buzzer.

Man of the match: Liam Stewart.