Guildford Flames 3-2 MK Lightning (AOT) 6th Jan
By Paul Brookman
For the second time in three meetings Guildford Flames’ Calle Ackered dealt a hammer blow to Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning’s victory hopes on Sunday.
The Swedish defenceman scored the only goal of the game late in the encounter at Planet Ice on Boxing Day. This time he sealed the win for the Surrey outfit with an overtime strike at the Spectrum Centre.
It was a disappointing end for Lightning who held a slender lead for nearly half the game after Owen Griffiths put them in front with a fifth minute powerplay strike and then matched their opponents until Flames went in front with just under ten minutes remaining.
But MK were in no mood to surrender and back they came to send the match into overtime with top goal scorer Robbie Baillargeon hitting a 56th minute equaliser.
Lightning who were again missing David Norris plus Cole Shudra were handed a fourth minute powerplay when Flames’ forward John Dunbar was penalised for hooking. Owen Griffiths was first to a rebounding Georgs Golovkovs shot to plant it in the net on 5mins 58secs.
In a clash interrupted by numerous penalties dished out by the officials Stefan Hogarth and Matt Thompson it was MK who were defending a penalty kill within seconds of the opening goal – Baillargeon going for hooking.
Before the first break Martin Mazanec, Andreas Valdix and the home side’s Jesse Craige had also visited the sin bin for minor infractions without any impact on the scoreline as Lightning led by one at the intermission.
It was much the same in the middle period with Lightning handed the advantage when Eric Lindhagen went for cross checking on 23mins – Baillargeon and Tim Wallace having a couple of decent chances on the powerplay.
Two quick penalties on Golovkovs and Baillargeon, both for hooking, followed, but MK were able to see off the shorthanded spell before each team was reduced to four skaters with Michael Fine (hooking) and TJ Foster (tripping) next to visit the coolers – all with no change to the scoreboard.
It was eventually on a delayed penalty that Flames levelled when Kevin King set up Jordan Abt to fire past man of the match goalie Patrick Killeen after 36mins 26secs.
Lightning went into the final quarter of an hour in with a chance of a shock regulation time win. But when Harry Ferguson was called for cross checking on 48mins 11secs,Foster was provider for Ben Davies to edge Flames in front with a goal two seconds from the end of the powerplay.
However that was not enough to decide the outcome as Tim Wallace and Ivan Šijan were involved when Baillargeon squared things up with 3mins 58secs of regulation time remaining.
In the end it took Ackered’s goal 3mins 33secs into overtime to consign Lightning to defeat.
Man of the match: Patrick Killeen (Sponsored by Smith Recycling)