Fife Flyers 4-3 MK Lightning (2nd Jan)
By Paul Brookman
Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning battled all the way at Fife Flyers on Wednesday – only to be undone by a shorthanded goal in the final 38 seconds in a match which ended in a disappointing 4-3 defeat.
Adam Goss was given the start in the Lightning goal due to the absence of Patrick Killeen who was sick. And Goss did not disappoint, pulling off a large number of great saves to earn the man of the match award.
Lightning were first on the scoresheet when Ivan Šijan blasted home from the blue line while Fife’s Danick Gauthier was sitting out an interference penalty – the goal timed at 6mins 14secs with Andreas Valdix and Michael Fine also involved.
However the visitors could not capitalise again when Marcus Basara was caught slashing a few seconds later – Flyers returned to full strength unscathed and then enjoyed a powerplay of their own when Valdix was sidelined for holding on 9mins 1sec.
Fife made the most of the man advantage to level the tallies on the powerplay through Paul Crowder on 10mins 21secs with help from Carlo Finucci and Evan Stoflet.
There was no luck for Lightning after Chris Wands was penalised for slashing a minute or so later – Fife surviving the shorthanded spell.
Never the less Lightning continued to push for another goal and Georgs Golovkovs saw his effort deflected high into the Kirkcaldy arena before he got his reward on 17mins 42secs with a Fine aided goal from long range.
But the lead lasted an even shorter time on this occasion with Jordan Buesa replying at 18mins 8secs.
Evan Bloodoff was soon in the penalty box for Fife once the second session got under way. His penalty at 22mins 29secs saw no damage to the home scoreline but they conceded shortly after its expiry – Radek Meidl firing home from the left circle, with Šijan making the supply on 24mins 39secs.
Bloodoff forced two excellent saves from Goss to keep Lightning ahead in the second session while Valdix brought a double stop by goalie Shane Owen.
MK quickly ran into penalty trouble within seconds of the start of the third session – Valdix being handed a four minute penalty for as high stick. Eventually the pressure told with Bloodoff striking for a powerplay goal, assisted by Finucci and Mike Cazzola, at 43mins 8secs.
A few minutes later, as Lightning sought to retake the lead, Robbie Baillargeon set up Valdix but Owen saved his shot. At the other end Goss was instrumental in preventing Flyers from edging in front.
Flyers had no joy when both Fine, for holding the opponent’s stick, and Nelson Armstrong, for unsportsmanlike conduct, were both in the sin bin at the same time. And it was Fife who incurred the next penalty as Gauthier was called for tripping at 57mins 57secs.
However Lightning were unable to find a way through – instead Flyers consigned them to defeat with Finucci’s unassisted strike at 59mins 22secs.
MK immediately called a timeout and withdrew Goss for the extra skater, but it was to no avail.
Man of the match: Adam Goss.