Morbeck Optimistic For Saturday Improvement Against Giants

Head Coach of the Smith Recycling MK Lightning, Doug McKay and forward Trevor Morbeck both agreed that it was penalties that cost the team a win on Friday in the first of two matches in Belfast – but there’s optimism for a Saturday improvement in fortunes.

The Lightning return to the SSE Arena this evening to play Adam Keefe’s Belfast Giants again (7pm) before returning to the Planet Ice MK Arena on Sunday afternoon to face the Nottingham Panthers.

The Giants opened the scoring with Lightning equalising just eight minutes later. Even when defenceman Mark Garside scored a powerplay goal in the second session, MKL were still in the running.  However three Giants’ goals within three minutes during the final period – one scored by former Lightning man Jonathan Boxill – put paid to any hopes McKay’s team had of a resurgance, with two of the three being scored whilst the hosts had a numerical advantage on the ice.

“We have to find a way to kill the penalties and start an attack,” said Coach McKay after the game.  “It’s our responsibility whether we’re 5 on 4 or 5 on 3.  But for two periods, we were right with (Belfast).”

The long journey to Northern Ireland on Friday involved a 5am start from Milton Keynes, and Trevor Morbeck said the travelling may have put Lightning at a disadvantage  – but it might not be as bad for Saturday’s follow-on fixture.  “We had it where we wanted it after two periods but the penalties really hurt us – and the two powerplay goals at the end, we shot ourselves in the foot.  

“We had a really long travel day and didn’t get much time to rest after the flight.  But we’ll be better tomorrow – we’ll get some sleep tonight then we’ll be ready for them.”

Lightning face off against the Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena Belfast at 7pm tonight – live, in game updates will be available on Lightning’s free Twitter account, twitter.com/MKLightningLive.

On Sunday Doug McKay’s side return to their base at the Planet Ice MK Arena for a 5.15pm face off against Nottingham Panthers (tickets 01908 540020 or mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets)

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