James Archer returned to the Milton Keynes Lightning fold for the first time in 12 years and quickly made his mark on the NIHL Autumn Cup game at Telford Tigers on Saturday.
Archer who played for Lightning for one season in 2008-2009 set up the first goal when James Griffin put the visitors ahead on 8mins 18secs. He stepped into the team on a temporary basis to fill the void left by the absence of captain Russell Cowley and Liam Stewart.
Griffin’s opener came as Tigers’ Daniel Mitchell was sitting out a two minute penalty for cross checking. Once back at full strength though the home side were back on the offensive and they drew level through the veteran Jason Silverthorn at 17mins 4secs on a powerplay resulting from the sin binning of Adam Laishram for slashing and Griffin for cross checking.
No sooner had Tigers scored the equaliser than Silverthorn made it 2-1 exactly 14 seconds after his first strike with the hosts still having a one man advantage.
Worse was to come before the second break when Laishram returned to the penalty box with 2mins 17secs of the period remaining – this time for cross checking. Tigers wasted no time in seizing the initiative with 44-year-old Jonathan Weaver finishing off from Rick Plant who first broke into the Tigers team 26 years ago.
After such a flurry of goals and penalties in the first period one could have been forgiven for expecting more of the same in the second session. However apart from a hooking call on Sean Norris and a couple of minor penalties on Tigers men the game was able to settle down.
The only goal of the period saw Tigers edge further in front when Plant – who was 17 years old when he spent a season with the now defunct MK Kings outfit – registered from Weaver.
As the encounter went into the final ten minutes Lightning sought to get back in the game but instead it was the Shropshire side that went further in front while short-handed -Nicholas Oliver sitting out a tripping minor. This time Andy McKinney supplied Scott McKenzie to score on 52mins 44secs to make it 5-2.
From that there was no way back for a disappointed Lightning side.
Man of the Match: Ed Knaggs