MK Lightning 0-2 Glasgow Clan (24th Jan)
By Paul Brookman
Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning welcomed back Martin Mazanec and Trevor Morbeck to the side after injury but there was no return to winning ways as the side went down to a seventh consecutive defeat, losing 2-0 to Glasgow Clan at Planet Ice on Thursday.
A goal in the first three minutes and another with less than four minutes remaining were enough to see off a Lightning team that battled hard but produced very little in terms of decent shots on goal – most being dealt with easily by netminder Joel Rumpel.
The losing run matches that the team suffered immediately before the departure of former coach Doug McKay – which ironically occurred just hours before Clan’s last appearance in the city in November.
It left Lightning firmly stranded at the foot of the table – 13 points behind the next placed team, Coventry Blaze, who have played four games less. It was Glasgow’s fifth win in seven games – a run which has seen them move up to fifth in the table.
Glasgow took a shock lead after just 2mins 13secs when Craig Peacock skated in on goal and hit what looked like a weak shot that crept past goalie Patrick Killeen.
Just over a minute later Scott Tanski was consigned to the sin bin for slashing but the hosts could not manage a single shot on goal with the man advantage. Back at full strength Ivan Šijan advanced forward to make a great pass from the right – unfortunately there was no team-mate in front of goal to receive it.
MK did only slightly better when they were handed another powerplay after Peacock was penalised for holding Radek Meidl. Andreas Valdix had a shot saved before Clan pressed them back in the neutral and defensive zones for the remainder of the two minutes.
When Scott Pitt was caught slashing in the 16th minute the closest MK came to scoring on the powerplay was with a Tim Wallace blast which was pushed away by Rumpel.
Šijan had an unsuccessful long range attempt in the first minute of the second period, ahead of Matt Beca skating away for a one on one with Killeen – the goalie denying the Canadian. Shortly after, former Lightning star Guillaume Doucet set up Brendan Connolly for a shot which Killeen took with the glove.
Trevor Morbeck, Robbie Baillargeon and Šijan all went close but not close enough in a two minute spell approaching the half way mark.
Shots were again hard to come by on the powerplay resulting from a delay of the game penalty on Tyler Wilson – Valdix producing the only effort.
With the clock counting down to the second break it looked as though Lightning could play all night and still not score. And so it proved in the final 20 minutes despite Wallace trying his luck from a Valdix set up early in the third period before Baillargeon tried to hustle the netminder into making a mistake.
Lightning managed to hold on during penalties on Šijan and Nelson Armstrong – Travis Ehrhardt having a decent effort during the latter penalty. However the hosts could do nothing to prevent Zack Fitzgerald from sending a rocket into the net after 56mins 4secs – Killeen unable to see the puck until it was too late due to players in front of him.
There was little hope of earning anything from the game but, all the same, Killeen was withdrawn for the extra skater with 1min 5secs left, with no consequence to either team’s goal tally.
Man of the match: Owen Griffiths (sponsored by Your Local Flyer)